Three new winners of the city’s Invest South/West initiative have been announced by the mayor in Humboldt Park and South Shore. The three winners are located at 3601 W Chicago Avenue and 4000 W North Avenue in Humboldt Park, and 2908 E 79th Street in South Shore. All together the three proposals represent a $126 million investment in the neighborhoods aimed at increasing the quality of life, adding equitable affordable housing while joining a list of seven past winners of the two-year-old program that are set to break ground soon.
3601 W Chicago Avenue
A Humboldt Park proposal that drew two very different proposals, the winning project dubbed ‘The Ave’ comes to us from developer KMW communities and the Preservation Of Affordable Housing and is designed by Gensler. The three-phase project beat its competitor to provide 40 mixed-income apartments on top of a restaurant, small green grocer, retail, and location for AccessHealth in its first phase. Additionally, 32 parking spaces will also be built to serve the aforementioned tenants and a small daycare on the second floor, residents will also have access to outdoor gardens to grow their own produce.
Perhaps what makes this one of the most ambitious proposals we’ve seen are its second and third phases. The second phase will construct a five-story 42 unit building at 3401 W Chicago Avenue where a vacant Dollar Tree currently stands. The third phase will take place over various years and will focus on helping build 260 multi- and single- family homes by providing $5,000 grants for every home built on public land. The developer hopes to complete the first phase of the project by 2024 with a total price tag of $90 million.
4000 W North Avenue
The restoration of the historic Pioneer Bank in Humboldt Park will be the centerpiece of the second awarded project, dubbed ‘Team Pioneros’, the winning proposal for this site comes from Park Row Development and a 100 percent Latino-owned team led by designers JGMA. JGMA themselves will anchor the future office space inside the restored building joined by a new cultural hub, incubator, and workspace in collaboration with various local organizations.
Adding on to the bank will be a sleek new addition rising from a ground level public plaza that will contain a new public library branch, 114-vehicle parking spaces, a new office for Humboldt Park Health, and a large community room connected to an expansive outdoor deck. Topping those will be 75 affordable residential units clad in a multi-color slatted facade that is meant to be experienced from all angles. The project’s final price tag is $52.5 million.
2908 E 79th Street
The third and final winner is located in the South Shore neighborhood on a 1.7 acre site adjacent to the Metra Cheltenham Station. Dubbed ‘Thrive Exchange’ the winning proposal is being developed by DL3 Realty Advisors with Revere Properties along with designers KOO Architects and Site Design Group. Backed by major institutions like BMO Harris, only 25-percent of the funding for the multi-part project would come from the city. The first site of the development would be the existing Barbershop Building which will get two, four-story additions and hold 49 affordable units.
Across the street a new six-story building would bring 39 additional units aimed at the local workforce with a ground floor market and pocket park. The adjacent Ringer Building would be redeveloped into a health clinic, business incubator, and community space. Rounding out the proposal across the way will be 24 new condos topped by solar panels that will work with the Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago to attract first-time homeowners from the surrounding area. The total price tag for this proposal would be $65 million.
Now that the winners have been announced, all three of them will be able to proceed with the normal permitting process which will include reviews from various committees and final word from the City Council, all of which could bring design changes. However city commissioner Maurice Cox hopes that all three of them could break ground by the fall of 2022.