ReTown is a name that was not chosen lightly. We endeavor to apply a three-pronged approach to the projects that we take on, and it has served us well over the years. The idea is to transform and revitalize areas that have a great deal of untapped potential. First, we ReThink as we create a master plan that will serve existing residents and/or businesses, attract new ones, and fit seamlessly into surrounding neighborhoods. When the plan is in place, financing will be necessary, and this is what we call the ReInvest stage. We have many connections, and we know exactly how to secure the financing that is necessary to complete a redevelopment project. Finally, we ReBuild, and the original vision ultimately comes to life.
The Robbins, Illinois project is one of the best examples of the utilization of our approach to urban revitalization. Our President and Managing Director Jim Louthen has been involved in this ongoing initiative for more than a decade at this point, and a great deal of progress has been made. This village that sits about 15 miles south of Chicago is rich with history. It was originally incorporated back in 1917, and it holds a very unique distinction: Robbins is the oldest incorporated community in America that is governed solely by African-American residents. The town rose to prominence during the earlier portion of 1930s when an airport and flight school was established there. Many people have learned about the famous Tuskegee Airmen who served during World War II, and the model for this program actually came from the successes that were achieved in Robbins.
Like a lot of places, Robbins slowly began to fall into a state of urban blight that came to a head during the 1970s. At that point, the population had dwindled, and things were rather bleak for many locals. If you fast-forward about three decades, you will see Jim Louthen and ReTown enter the picture. He came up with a master transit oriented development plan, and the first step was the reestablishment of the Robbins Metra stop. The master plan also includes the development of affordable townhomes and a quarry project that will provide a much-needed economic boost to the village.
Ongoing efforts such as these provide assistance where it is needed the most. Your work has an added level of meaning when you can devote yourself to projects that are truly worthwhile on every level. This is our mission, and we pour ourselves into it each and every day.