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A Neighborhood Rebirth In Historic Pullman

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The historic Pullman neighborhood, once the center of the railroad industry and home to the Pullman passenger car factory, is poised for a revival.

The cornerstone of that effort is not the railroad, but retail.

About 7,300 people call this sliver of land on the South Side their home.

On Wednesday morning, it will welcome a brand new Wal-Mart to its neighborhood, CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.

It will be followed by more retail next door, including a Ross Dress For Less and Planet Fitness.

And, true to its historic roots, manufacturing is coming, too.

Method, the maker of environmentally friendly cleaning products, will be opening a production facility just beyond the Wal-Mart site.

The Wal-Mart means about 400 jobs for the area.

Method is expected to employ another 100 at its 150,000-square-foot facility.

The retail development offers convenient shopping for South Side residents.

Ald. John Beale has been fighting for the Pullman revival, and he says the Wal-Mart helped lure the other businesses.

“Since the Wal-Mart has been under construction, we have had overwhelming response to other retailers coming into the area,” he said.

The community has seen hard times for years, but now there is hope.

In addition, there is movement to make area surrounding the old Pullman factory a National Park.

The neighborhood was actually a small town, populated almost exclusively by families with ties to the Pullman factory. Factory workers and lived in Queen Anne style homes.

The Pullman executives lived in more elaborate mansions, closer to the factory.

There was a large, ornate hotel, a school and arcade building.

The National Parks Service has been focusing its efforts on finding urban sites to turn into national, protected treasures.