A recent report released by IBM ranked Chicago among the World's Most Competitive Cities. The study looks at five investment types: international headquarters, shared services, software development, finacial services and life sciences. Of the top 100 global cities, Chicago ranked in the top eight or better across the board, and fourth in financial services. Of 15 North American cities, Chicago came in third in software development, and second in the other four categories.
The Chicago Transit Board approved a plan to rehabilitate and improve accessibility of the Blue Line's Illinois Medical District CTA station. All three entrances will be made accessible to customers with disabilities, making it easier for patients, employees and visitors to the medical district to access public transportation.
The University of Chicago has been working to boost the neighborhood around the campus, and has recently recruited restaurants and notable retailers to the area. Fine-dining establishment A10 recently opened nearby, and the chef plans to open a second location a few blocks away. Yusho Hyde Park is also set to open by fall. As far as new retailers, Akira and a CorePower Yoga studio opened on the 53rd Street corridor, as well as Starbucks, Chipotle, Ulta Beauty and LA Fitness. The university also has plans for a recently purchased 12-story complex, which will feature a technology startup center and a new Whole Foods Market.
The Chicago Transit Board selected local artists and an artist team to create new, original artwork that will be installed at eight train stations that recently underwent rehabilitation as part of the project on the southern portion of the Red Line. The new art will complement existing pieces at many of the stations. Many of the stops included in the project are major visitor stations including Cermak-Chinatown and Sox-35th.
The Chicago Department of Aviation announced that O’Hare International Airport won the Global Traveler award for Best Airport in North America for the 10th straight year. O’Hare was also inducted into the Global Traveler 10-Year Hall of Fame for having won the honor for every year of its existence. O’Hare was awarded the honor by business travelers who participated in a survey from the magazine.
Midway International Airport recorded its highest passenger total in its 86-year history with more than 20 million passengers. This total exceeds Midway’s previous record, set in 2012, by nearly five percent. The airport has experienced steady growth in passengers in the last few years, and that growth is expected to continue in 2014. Twelve new destinations were added to Midway in 2013, including service to Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and popular destinations around the U.S. In June, Southwest Airlines will launch new service to Boise, Idaho and seasonal service to Portland, Maine.