In a meeting last week in Kankakee, local REALTORS® and economic developers agreed to pool their resources to continue growth in Kankakee County and surrounding area.

Illinois REALTORS® Director of Global Business Sharon Gorrell and Director of Marketing and Business Development for the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County Lisa Wogan gathered with leaders of the Kankakee Iroquois Ford Association of REALTORS® (KIFAR) to discuss the role of REALTORS® as partners in local economic development plans and opportunities. They discussed the use of the REALTORS® Property Resource (RPR) trade area reports, identified where potential opportunities may lie and how the local association can leverage resources like RPR.

KIFAR President Tina Franklin said, “We understand the local community and have resources available to us that can be invaluable to understanding the local property markets.”  The combination of Illinois REALTORS® Housing stats reports, RPR reports and expertise from both residential and commercial brokers will go a long way toward supporting growth in the business services, retail, hospitality and residential housing sectors in Kankakee County and in the surrounding area.

Tim Nugent, President and CEO of the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County stated, “It would be great to find a home builder who can jump start a larger home building effort that would include newer “lifestyle” neighborhoods that offer amenities like clubhouses and walking paths. With our tremendous industrial growth – including the expansion of the CSL Behring manufacturing facility – more jobs will be coming here. So, we want to make sure we have housing choices for our existing workforce as well as the new pool of talent.”

KIFAR Association Executive Connie Legris said, “Learning more about RPR when I was at convention really helped me see what we can bring to the table in these discussions.”

Collectively, those who came to the meeting said that more collaboration between all parties would help attract foreign and domestic investors and help create growth opportunities for all.

The Kankakee meeting was a follow up to a Select USA Conference that Gorrell and Wogan attended in Washington, D.C. a few months earlier. Part of that team was Illinois REALTORS® Immediate Past President Matt Difanis, who helped share the message that Illinois has a lot to offer businesses of all sizes, including a robust work force, affordable yet premier market access and unrivaled educational systems.


(l to r) Barbi Brewer-Watson, Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce; KIFAR President Tina Franklin; KIFAR CEO Connie Legris; REALTOR® Buck Tamblyn, McColly Bennett Real Estate; Lisa Wogan, Economic Alliance of Kankakee County; Tim Nugent, Economic Alliance of Kankakee County. (Photos by Sharon Gorrell)

The Kankakee Train Station offers a little bit of history.

The Harold and Jean Miner Festival Square is a popular public gathering place.

The Majestic Theater in Kankakee is an events center for residents and visitors.

Try the Salmon Toast at the Stefari Cafe, 150 N. Schuyler in Kankakee.

Even in November there’s no denying the natural beauty of the Kankakee River.