Construction is still “essential business” in Chicago despite a halt in NY

Pritzker has allowed all types of work to continue statewide amid mounting restrictions caused by the coronavirus

TRD CHICAGO /
Mar.March 31, 2020 01:00 PM
Governor J.B. Pritzker (Credit: Pritzker by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Governor J.B. Pritzker (Credit: Pritzker by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

UPDATED, March 31, 1:10 p.m.: Construction on office, residential and other projects continues in Chicago, despite the deepening coronavirus crisis and a recent order in New York state to halt most work.

Over the weekend, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Illinois was unlikely to stop construction, according to Block Club. The governor made his comments two days after New York imposed its ban on all construction except for work on infrastructure, healthcare facilities and — in New York City only —affordable housing.

Illinois is now under a stay-at-home order through April — it had been through the first week of the month, but the extension through month’s-end will be announced later today, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The stay-at-home order closed all non-essential businesses though construction projects, no matter the type, are still considered “essential business.”

“Anybody that is concerned about that certainly should be reporting to the Department of Public Health or letting my administration know,” Pritzker said, according to Block Club. “Much of what is being done is essential work … and we don’t want anybody to be at risk, but we also want to make sure we’re continuing the necessary work across the state.”

But Chicago real estate businesses are feeling the financial burden of the coronavirus as much as other companies. Most real estate brokerages have closed their offices, with agents switching to virtual tours to close deals. The hotel industry has been decimated by Covid-19, with many closing their doors and some working with the city to house coronavirus patients. [Block Club] — Jacqueline Flynn


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