I've read most, if not all, of Ben Joravsky's articles on tax increment financing districts, but either this stat wasn't in them, or I missed it:
"A quarter of Chicago's acreage has now been mapped into one TIF or another."
That means a quarter of Chicago is blighted, which is a sad thing to learn. I sure hope the International Olympic Committee doesn't mind when they learn how much of Chicago is in need of such desperate measures, including the center of downtown. Who knew changing the name of Marshall Field's would have such tragic consequences?
(The above statistic comes from a study by Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley and
the Neighborhood Capital Budget Group*, which recently closed its doors, although its highly useful website will remain up for another few months.)
*Update: The Sun-Times article incorrectly states that the NCBG co-wrote the study. The authors are Jeremy Thompson, Quigley's senior policy analyst; Jason Liechty, his director of policy; and Mike Quigley. The full report is available at commissionerquigley.com (great URL). I regret the Sun-Times's error.