Inside these posts: City of Chicago

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New Superman movie to film in Chicago

From Crain’s Chicago Business | Warner Bros.’ next Superman movie, “Superman: Man of Steel” will be filmed in Chicago starting this summer, Crain’s Chicago Business reported. Filming is expected to take two to three months. Get the full story>>

Chicago-area home sales, prices fall from year ago

The weeks after the Super Bowl are considered the traditional start of the home-buying season, but home sales were a non-starter in the Chicago area last month.

February sales of existing homes in the Chicago area fell 8.8 percent from their level of a year ago, to 3,769 homes sold at a median price of $152,500. A year ago, in February 2010, the median price was $165,000. Get the full story »

Chicago existing home, condo sales plunge in Jan.

Sales of existing homes in the Chicago area fell last month, and plunged dramatically within the city of Chicago, but consumers who did close transactions were able to buy a lot of house for their money.

The Illinois Association of Realtors said Wednesday that 3,844 single-family homes and condominiums were sold in January, a 2 percent drop from January 2010. Sales activity within the collar counties mitigated the anemic performance within the city of Chicago, and especially in the condo market. Get the full story »

Chicago OKs contract for 280 car charging stations

A residential electric car charging station in Washington D.C. (Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty)

By the end of this year, Chicagoans will not only be able to purchase and drive electric vehicles, but also charge those vehicles in the time it takes to finish a cup of coffee.

The city of Chicago has awarded a $1.9 million contract to a California firm to install 280 electric vehicle charging stations in Chicago and surrounding suburbs by the end of 2011.

The contract — paid for with equal state and federal dollars though a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — means the city has cleared a major hurdle on the road to widespread electric vehicle adoption. Get the full story »

Chicago a top-5 Valentine’s Day destination?

After shoveling 20 inches of snow last week, Chicagoans are dreaming of palm trees. But apparently the people with the palm trees are dreaming of…Chicago?

That’s right, The Windy City moved up Orbitz Worldwide’s list of top Valentine’s Day destinations this year to number five. Heck, Chicago even beat bookings to Oahu and Miami. Get the full story »

United, American suing O’Hare expansion

A passenger plane takes off at O'Hare as work continues in foreground on the runway expansion project. (Chris Walker/Chicago Tribune)

United and American Airlines on Tuesday made good on their threat to sue Chicago to stop the city from issuing bonds to finance the remainder of the expansion project at O’Hare International Airport.

The airlines, which say they cannot afford to help pay for new runways that will not be needed for years, filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court just days after sending  a letter on Friday to Mayor Richard Daley,  asking for negotiations on the future of the O’Hare Modernization Program. The letter said the expansion must proceed based on future increases in flights. Get the full story »

Motorola Mobility not moving HQ to Chicago

From Crain’s Chicago Business | Motorola Mobility, Motorola’s cell phone unit, reportedly has ruled out moving its headquarters to downtown Chicago. The company, which will split from the emergency-radio business Jan. 4, would keep its headquarters at its existing campus in Libertyville if it chooses to stay in Illinois, says a person familiar with the search. Get the full story>>

City planners back grocery-condo dev. in Lincoln Park

From the Chicago Sun-Times | City planners Thursday endorsed a mixed-used development on the site of the old Lincoln Park Hospital on the North Side in a rare move to override the wishes of the local alderman. The proposal by Sandz Development Co. calls for a Fresh Market store on the 3-acre site at Halsted and Webster. It also includes a medical office building, about 160 residences and public parking. Get the full story>>

Food trucks in Chicago in legal twilight zone

Food trucks — essentially restaurants on wheels — have taken off in cities such as Los Angeles and New York, spurred by the weak economy, trendy fare and the proliferation of social media, like Twitter. But in Chicago, one of the nation’s most progressive culinary cities, the trucks are held back by restrictive rules and operate in a legal twilight zone. Get the full story »

Cities learning from Chicago’s parking meters deal

From Bloomberg | Chicago’s controversial parking meters deal, forced into effect by Mayor Richard Daley in 2008, has had many lessons for other cities considering their own parking meter agreements. Cities like Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles are considering options such as taking less money up front in favor of more total fees, and demanding exit clauses that let them end the lease.

Illinois plans $1.5 billion tobacco bond for budget

From Bloomberg | Illinois is planning $1.5 billion in tobacco-bond sales as soon as Nov. 30 to pay bills and balance its budget. The bonds, to be backed by payments from a 1998 settlement with tobacco companies, will be sold the week after Thanksgiving.

Virgin America sets its sights on O’Hare again

Virgin America is once again looking to land at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in 2011, provided it can finalize an agreement with the city of Chicago to take over gates vacated by Delta Air Lines last year.

Virgin America CEO David Cush said Tuesday that talks were progressing and he was optimistic the carrier would begin daily flights from Chicago to Los Angeles and San Francisco next April.

“I think the city has certainly moved the process forward,” said Cush, saying he expected to hammer out an agreement in the next 30 to 45 days. “I’m more encouraged today than I was 60 days ago.” Get the full story »

Chicago puts off $804 million bonds sale

From The Bond Buyer | The city of Chicago is postponing next week’s $804 million bond sale, hoping to secure better interest rates. Chicago’s credit ranking has been cut by Fitch Ratings twice in less than three months. “We are trying to minimize the perceived Illinois penalty by showing investors that the city’s exposure to state payment delays is limited and that we don’t have the same risk as some other borrowers because of Chicago’s home-rule status,” said city chief financial officer Gene Saffold. “The state collects our share of income taxes and sales taxes but it is pretty well caught up.”

Fitch downgrades rating on Chicago bonds again

Less than two weeks before Chicago plans to sell $804.3 million in bonds, Fitch Ratings downgraded the city’s bond rating for the second time in less than three months.

Fitch cited the city’s continued use of long-term financial reserves and other non-recurring revenues to patch budget deficits, its large and increasing unfunded pension liability and the high unemployment and foreclosure rates locally.

“The downgrade reflects the city’s weakened financial flexibility,” Fitch stated in the report it issued this afternoon. Get the full story »

Cities, counties struggle to cover pensions

The pension benefits that U.S. cities and counties are unable to cover could total as much as $574 billion, according to a study released on Tuesday.

The study, conducted by academics at Northwestern University and the University of Rochester, looked at how long the assets for 77 defined pension plans sponsored by 50 major U.S. cities and counties will last.

It found that six major cities — Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Jacksonville and St. Paul — can only cover promised benefits through 2020. Get the full story »