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March 2, 2017

Ryan Gage
Director of Marketing and Communication


 IMD & Alderman Ervin Announce Rule Change Lifting Ban
on Food Truck Operation in Illinois Medical District

Rule change to fulfill a longstanding need for more amenities
in one of the nation’s largest urban medical districts

CHICAGO– The Illinois Medical District (IMD) and Alderman Jason Ervin (28th) today announced that a ban on food trucks operating within the District has been lifted. The rule change was introduced in the Chicago City Council’s January meeting and approved in February.

Food truck vendors who are properly licensed, and who follow existing regulations can now operate widely throughout the IMD. IMD staff have conducted extensive outreach to individual vendors and vendor associations to inform them that the ban has been lifted. The rule change is in addition to previous efforts by the IMD and Alderman Ervin in November 2016, which resulted in three areas in the District being designated for food truck operation.

"I'm thrilled the Illinois Medical District community will have the same access to the latest food service industry trucks as every other neighborhood in Chicago,” said Alderman Ervin. “The West Side of Chicago is quickly transforming to one of the most exciting destinations to live, work and play, and smart changes to our rules and regulations like this only further accelerate this transformation."

The welcoming of food trucks to the IMD also fulfills a need for more amenities for its 80,000 daily visitors. In response to numerous initiatives, IMD stakeholders identified the lack of restaurants, lunch destinations and coffee shops as a drawback. Among the goals outlined in the updated IMD Master Plan is to provide high quality amenities such as services, retail and social spaces. The ability of food trucks to move throughout the District makes this service more accessible to more individuals.

“Our vision for the future of the IMD is to create a more vibrant, thriving environment for those who live, work and visit,” said IMD CEO/Executive Director Dr. Suzet McKinney. "The initial response to the food truck presence in the District has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’re committed to building on that moving forward.”

The IMD is working closely with vendors and city departments to ensure that all requirements for food truck operation are met, and that the vendors’ presence in the District creates an inclusive and beneficial environment for everyone who uses the service.



The Illinois Medical District Commission (IMDC) fosters economic growth in the Illinois Medical District (IMD) by supporting healthcare, research, program, technology commercialization and real estate development initiatives. The IMDC facilitates collaboration among clinicians, academic researchers, private industry and patients, acting as an independent third party convener that brings institutions and individuals together around common needs, goals and themes. Our mission is to be a leader in patient care and medical research utilizing our diversity and unique assets while driving economic growth.

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