Chicago has offered the locally based Spiegel Inc. a proposed relocation site on the city's southeast side that had been slated for a partially bond-financed $10.8 billion airport.
The offer was made earlier this month in response to the catalogue company's evaluation of its distribution facilities, currently housed in aging buildings on the city's South Side, said Jim Williams, the mayor's press secretary.
"Certainly, we'd like Spiegel to stay in the city," Mr. Williams noted. He said the city and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs gave Spiegel a list of alternatives, including the Lake Calumet airport site.
According to a published news report, Spiegel would require 100 to 200 acres of land, which represents only a small portion of the open sites in the Lake Calumet area.
Debbie Koopman, spokeswoman for Spiegel, said the company is expected to make a decision in September. "We are evaluating our facilities and systems right now. We're considering some proposals and evaluating alternate sites," she said.
Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago last month dropped his support for a new airport at the site after the Illinois General Assembly failed to create an authority to supervise development of the project and oversee the city's O'Hare International and Midway airports.
However, Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar has said he would promote the airport project in the legislature's fall session.
The authority would have responsibility for issuing $8.5 billion of revenue bonds and for paying off approximately $3.8 billion of outstanding airport bonds issued by Chicago.