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Relocation Guide Main Page - South Suburbs Area Guide
The Town Of Oak Forest, Illinois
The City of Oak Forest is making great strides in economic development as more and more individual business operators, real estate brokers, and land developers involved in the various aspects of economic development express an interest in opening new businesses or in expanding existing ones. The inquiries received by the city's economic and community development staff cover a broad range of projects - from small individual retail establishments, small shopping centers and auto repair and sales to major industrial enterprises.

Firms already established have generally found Oak Forest to be an excellent community in which to do business, with a substantial number of second- and third-generation business owners and operators. Many have been here for more than 25 years. Why has Oak Forest become such a popular place for economic development? Several factors explain why the development community is looking at Oak Forest: the success of Oak Forest Commons, the adoption of a new Comprehensive Plan for the City, the merging of the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals into a consolidated, streamlined Planning and Zoning Commission - all of which contribute to the City of Oak Forest's positive, development-friendly attitude that encourages and enhances business and economic growth.

Developers and applicants find that the combined Planning and Zoning Commission reduces the number of meetings that they and their representatives have to attend, which can be costly. By having one group review an application, projects can be presented to the City Council for consideration much more quickly - thereby allowing faster project approval and start-up, and/or allowing developers more time to revise projects as recommended by the Council. The Mayor, City Council, Economic Development Commission, Planning and Zoning Commission, and Community Development Department are eager to attract new business activity to the City, which will improve Oak Forest as a whole and provide additional services for the convenience of residents. At the same time, the City recognizes the importance of established standards in maintaining the quality of life that residents have enjoyed, and are carefully planning today's and tomorrow's economic growth. The City of Oak Forest created an Economic Development Commission (EDC) to help promote and market the community as a possible location for new and/or expanded business and industry. The commission is composed of a broad cross-section of local community leaders from both public and private sector firms and organizations. It provides data to prospective corporate residents and assists in site location and selection. Members of the Commission regularly meet with prospects to provide information and assist with any problems that may arise with the opening of a new business or industry. The EDC maintains a working relationship with qualified economic development consultants who provide specific information for individual prospects relative to questions related to property taxes, incentives, financing, and education and training. It works with a professional Community Development Coordinator employed by the City to help with business assistance needs including start-up, expansion, relocation services, site and building selection, financial packaging, employee training and other services. Municipal cooperation for new and existing business is a priority. The Commission is generally responsible for working with new business and industry, while the Chamber of Commerce generally deals with existing establishments. However, the EDC and the Chamber are jointly working on developing a retention program to help enhance the local business climate for existing establishments.

The City of Oak Forest is situated in the south suburbs of Chicago, approximately 24 miles from the downtown Loop area. Its far southern boundaries intersect 1-57 for fast, convenient access to and from the city of Chicago and all the way to southernmost Illinois. Just south of Oak Forest, I-57 connects to I-80, which runs the width of the entire U.S., from New York to California. North of the city, travelers can connect to I-294, north to the Wisconsin border and south and east to Indiana. Oak Forest is also served by U.S. Routes 6 (east-west) and 45 (north-south). State Routes 43 (Harlem Ave.) and 50 (Cicero Ave.) both run north-south. METRA trains carry passengers into Chicago and all points in-between for work or shopping, with a 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year schedule. The Oak Forest commuter station at 159th and Cicero is served by three commuter parking lots on 157th, 159th and Waverly, with parking for 1,200+ cars daily. Pace Bus service shuttles commuters to and from the stations, with convenient schedules coinciding with morning and afternoon/evening METRA schedules.
Important Information For Oak Forest:
Tax Structure

Featured Businesses Serving Oak Forest
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Chicago Health Insurance
3000 Lakeside Drive, Suite 200 South
Bannockburn, IL 60015

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Utilities Serving Oak Forest
Water CompaniesOak Forest Public Works
15440 S. Central
Oak Forest, IL 60452
Gas CompaniesNorthern Illinois Gas
300 N Washington St
Paxton, IL 60957
(217) 379-9200
Local Phone CompaniesIllinois Bell
702 Bloomington Road
Champaign, IL 61820
Local Phone CompaniesAmeritech
30 South Wacker, 34th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606
Electric CompaniesComEd
P.O. Box 805379
Chicago, IL 60680-5379
Gas CompaniesNicor Gas
P.O. Box 190
Aurora, IL 60507-0190
Government Offices Serving Oak Forests
Drivers Licenses and Vehicle Registration/ License PlatesChicago South Charles Chew,Jr. Driver Services Fac
9901 South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr
Chicago, IL 60628
City HallsOak Forest City Hall
15440 S. Central
Oak Forest, IL 60452
Schools Serving Oak Forest
Elementary Schools
Jack Hille Elementary School5800 151st St(708) 687-5550
Lee R Foster Elementary School5931 School St(708) 687-4763
Morton-Gingerwood Elementary16936 Forest Ave(708) 560-0092
Ridge Elementary School5151 149th St(708) 687-2964
Scarlet Oak Elementary School5731 Albert Dr(708) 687-5822
Middle Schools
Arbor Park Middle School15900 Oak Ave(708) 687-5378
Kerkstra Middle School14950 Laramie Ave(708) 687-2860
High Schools
Oak Forest High School15201 Central Ave(708) 687-0500

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