Chicago's Southeast Industrial Development and Why Is It Important

Chicago industrial zones have a storied and important past


Chicago’s industrial zones have a long and storied past. They’ve been instrumental in the commercial progress that our country has enjoyed over the past century, and today, they’re undergoing significant redevelopments that impact the entire region.

Even if you’re not located in the Chicago area, what’s happening there is an example of just how important a single material—steel—can be. In this article, Capital Steel Industries is offering some perspective for other parts of the country, perspective that can be used to better understand the role that the steel industry has not just in our hometowns, but in our country as a whole.

Chicago is a great example of how steel is integrated into culture. What’s the perception of the steel industry where you are?

The Industrial Decline in Chicago’s Southeast Side

Ever since the steel industry started its decline, Chicago’s Southeast side has also been affected by a deterioration in its employment base and an increase in the unemployment rate.

Also, as far back as we have records, the Southeast side of Chicago has also served as a dumpsite for industrial waste. In recent times, it seems like Chicago’s Southeast side’s future is still being weighed in the balance.

Can industry help to develop an area still abundant in resources that once attracted developers many years back?


Can industrial redevelopment take place and get the economy of the area back on its feet?

If and when such development occurs, how environmentally friendly will it be?

The Calumet region’s future still seems uncertain. There still are available, but vacant steel facilities and industrial properties, and the story of the Southeast side continues to evolve through different themes.

Its economic potential, cultural and natural diversity, and renewed interest in the region, fused with a more enlightened perspective of the area, all act to present an opportunity for a better future for Chicago’s Southeast side.

The Importance of Preserving and Developing Southeast Chicago

The Southeast side of Chicago has a different kind of diversity that’s worth preserving and celebrating. At first, European immigrants settled here when they arrived in the area as steel mill workers. The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition had a role to play as well.

The Southeast side is also home to a large population of African Americans and has a significant Caribbean population as part of its residents.

Developers in Chicago, Illinois are now taking bold steps to turn its underutilized historic buildings, obsolete industrial spaces, and brownfield sites into megadevelopments.

Industrial redevelopment in the region will require a lot from the construction industry, which still depends on structural steel as one of its linchpin materials. Structural steel remains a top choice for key players in the construction sector (architects, designers, engineers, and fabricators).

Steel possesses immense strength, which is the reason why steel buildings in Illinois remain popular. Also, structural steel is flexible, ductile, tensile, and cost-effective, making it ideal for use in creating high-rise buildings, residential buildings, bridges, industrial sheds, parking garages, etc.

The demand for steel buildings will continue to grow. As the biggest coalition of local steel building contractors, we at Capital Steel Industries have only the best contractors and construction experts under our umbrella. Our dealers are trained and certified to ensure that they continue to serve as your greatest resource during project planning.

This is an image of an industrial building from Capital Steel Industries.

Price Your Project with CSI

Our local contractors can help you finalize everything about your building’s design.

They’ll also help you with crucial floor plan considerations. We have a commitment to supply only steel buildings that comply with the strictest quality standards.

Contact us today and a Capital Steel project manager will schedule a call to discuss your project with the local Capital Steel dealer that best suits your needs.

Another functional industrial project from Capital Steel Industries with strong aesthetic appeal.