Uptown Special Service Area

A “Special Service Area” is a contiguous area within a municipality or county in which special services are provided in addition to those services provided generally throughout the city. Outside of Illinois, similar districts are often called Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) or Community Improvement Districts (CIDs). The cost of the special services is paid from revenues collected from taxes levied or imposed upon property within that area. Stated more simply, SSAs are local tax districts that fund enhanced services and programs within a contiguous area. The enhanced services and programs are in addition to those currently provided through or by the City of Chicago.

SSA-funded projects typically include public way maintenance and beautification, district marketing and advertising, business retention and attraction, special events and promotional activities, security and façade improvements, and other commercial and economic development initiatives.

The City contracts with local nonprofit organizations, called Service Providers, to manage SSA-funded services. Appointed Commissioners for each SSA district oversee and recommend the annual services, budget, and Service Provider agency to the City. From State Street in the Loop to Back-of-the-Yards, there are currently more than 50 active SSAs in Chicago.

The Uptown SSA was established in December 2005, and was renewed and expanded in December 2014. It encompasses the major commercial and mixed-use corridors of the Uptown community including both Broadway and Sheridan Road from Irving Park Road (4000 N) to Foster Avenue (5200 N), parts of Clarendon Road and Marine Drive, as well as the east-west streets of Argyle, Lawrence, Leland, Wilson, and Montrose. Uptown United is the Sole Service Provider for the Uptown SSA.


The largest portions of the SSA budget address cleanliness: street and sidewalk litter removal, graffiti removal, supplementary snow removal, and periodic power washing of sidewalks. Other efforts include beautification efforts such as the maintenance of decorative sidewalk planters, light pole banners, public art, community events, as well as facade and safety improvement rebates.



Each SSA is governed by a local Commission that oversees and recommends the annual services, budget, and Service Provider Agency to the City. All meetings of the SSA Commission are subject to the Illinois Open Meetings Act. To be eligible to serve as a Commissioner of the Uptown SSA Commission, an individual must be an owner or lessee of property in the Special Service Area. The Commission strives to maintain a varied make-up on the Commission of large and small businesses, geographic distribution and residents to represent a range of interests and viewpoints within the SSA.

Questions about becoming an SSA Commissioner? Please e-mail us!

Uptown SSA Commission:
  • Terry Tuohy, Chair, Weiss Memorial Hospital
  • Josh Reitman, Vice Chair, Bridgeview Bank
  • David Rettker, Treasurer, Illinois Action for Children
  • Noreen Keeney, Secretary, residential property owner
  • Kelly Cheng, Sun Wah BBQ
  • Cam Ngan Hoang, First Sip Cafe
  • Jacob Karaca, residential property owner
  • Jared Dolan, residential property owner
  • Karl Sullivan, Wilson Abbey & Everybody’s Coffee
  • Mark Heffron, Cedar Street Companies
  • Lesley Showers, Institute of Cultural Affairs
  • Patti Eick Hutzel, residential property owner
  • Dominic Irpino, Irpino Real Estate


Meeting Schedule

The Uptown SSA meets in the First Floor Conference Room of the Bridgeview Bank Building (4753 North Broadway, Chicago, Illinois 60640), unless otherwise indicated.

2019 Commission Meeting Schedule
  • Tuesday, January 22, 2019 – 4:30pm
  • Tuesday, March 19, 2019 – 4:30pm
  • Tuesday, April 23, 2019 – 4:30pm
  • Tuesday, May 21, 2019 – 4:30pm 
  • Tuesday, June 18, 2019 – 4:30pm
  • Tuesday, July 9, 2019 – 4:30pm
  • Tuesday, August 20, 2019 – 4:30pm
  • Tuesday, September 17, 2019 – 4:30pm
  • Tuesday, October 22, 2019 – 4:30pm
  • Wednesday, December 4, 2019 – 4:30pm


Meeting Minutes and Agendas

2019 Advisory Commission Meetings

Tuesday, March 19th 2019 – 4:30pm
Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, January 22nd 2019 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda

2018 Advisory Commission Meetings

Wednesday, December 5th 2018 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, October 16th 2018 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, September 25th 2018 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, August 21st 2018 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, July 10th 2018 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, June 19th 2018 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, May 22nd 2018 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, April 24th 2018 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, March 27th 2018 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, February 27th 2018 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, January 23rd 2018 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda



The Uptown SSA funds many special or additional services and/or physical improvements in its area. The need for prioritization of those services and improvements are determined by the SSA Commission. In an SSA, only the property owners that benefit from the improvements are assessed the additional tax that is used to pay for an expansion of services. Often, services that are provided by an SSA can replace services that a business pays for (e.g., litter abatement).

In 2014, Uptown United embarked on reconstitution—or renewal—of Uptown SSA #34. During the reconstitution, local volunteer stakeholders who made up the Reconstitution Committee recommended that the tax cap for the Uptown SSA remain at 0.25% of Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) for the properties within the reconstituted district. This means that, while the amount of taxes collected will vary from year to year based upon the tax rate necessary to meet budget needs, it can never exceed 0.25% of a property’s EAV. In 2018, this translates into a tax levy of $771,399. Combined with a modest carryover from the prior year budget, the Uptown SSA has a budget of $821,399 to spend on projects, services, and improvements in Uptown. In 2018, the Uptown SSA is spending the programmatic portion of its budget as follows:

  • Customer Attraction: 19%
  • Public Way Aesthetics: 70%
  • Sustainability and Public Places: 1%
  • Economic and Business Development: 7%
  • Safety Programs: 2%


Contract and Audit Documents

2018: Sole Service Provider contract with Uptown United

2017: Independent Audit of 2017 SSA#34 Financials
Sole Service Provider contract with Uptown United

2016: Independent Audit of 2016 SSA#34 Financials
Sole Service Provider contract with Uptown United


Current RFP’s

None at this time.