City Announces Winners Of We Rise Together Grant

North Austin Community CenterNorth Austin Community Center. Rendering by Team A Architecture

The seven winners of the We Rise Together grant have been announced across the south and west sides in predominantly Black and Latino communities. The $6.7 million grant is the result of a program from the Chicago Community Trust that began in 2020 as the pandemic disproportionately affected communities of color and is aimed at assisting the areas recover. Learning from the recession, the winners range from small businesses to new construction representing the resilience of all Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Wyoming Vertical Harvest facility by Vertical Harvest

Vertical Harvest – Pullman

Led by Wyoming based Vertical Harvest, $1 million was awarded for the construction of a new four-story vertical greenhouse in Pullman as the Greater Chicago Food Depository estimates that 36 to 55 percent of area residents are at risk of food insecurity. The project will bring a 63,000-square-foot facility capable of producing 560,000 pounds of produce a year in collaboration with the Pullman Wheelworks affordable housing complex. Construction is expected to begin early 2022 and conclude in 2023.

Overton Elementary School via OpenHouse Chicago

Overton Center Of Excellence – Bronzeville

Led by Washington Park Development Group, the project will redevelop the vacant Overton Elementary School designed by Perkins + Will in 1963. The money received will be used to pursue further funding to restore the building and build out the office and incubator space aimed at South Side start-ups. The group hopes to leverage its proximity to major educational institutions and the future Obama Presidential Center to draw future users.

Brighton Park Esperanza Health Center via Google Maps

Esperanza Health Center – West Lawn

A new location for the Esperanza Health Centers chain which began in 2004 as Pilsen and Little Village residents joined to tackle the lack of critical care in their area. Since then they have opened locations in South Lawndale, Marquette Park, Little Village, Gage Park, and most recently a JGMA designed location in Brighton Park. The new location will allow access to affordable healthcare, multiple living wage jobs, and anchor a commercial corridor.

Current view of Little Angels Learning Center via Google Maps

Little Angels Learning Center – Englewood

In what has been a rollercoaster for the 27-year-old local daycare, after having their funding cut and shutting down in 2020, the center will receive help to construct a new facility across the street from the church where they currently operate from. Originally meant to be designed by Urban Works, the two-story facility aims to serve more than 150 kids compared to the 40 child limit of the old facility.

Current view of Cupid Candies via Google Maps

Brown Sugar Bakery – Ashburn

Long time founder and owner Stephanie Hart will use the funding to complete the merge and move her cake making facilities to the Cupid Candy factory. The southern-style bakery grew to three locations though only the original Gresham location has re-opened, the purchase will give them expanded facilities and ownership of Cupid Candy who will continue to operate alongside supplying their own stores.

Ogden Commons Development. Rendering by The Habitat Company

Ogden Commons Development. Rendering by The Habitat Company

Ogden Commons – North Lawndale

Replacing mostly empty lots, the development recently completed its first phase and will use the money to continue the construction of the sprawling $200 million project. The 10-acre land will ultimately include 120,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, 350 mixed-income residences, and support to the Chicago Housing Authority’s Park Douglas development.

North Austin Community Center campus

North Austin Community Center campus. Rendering by Team A Architecture

North Austin Community Center – Austin

The 10-acre, $31 million community center is being developed by the Grace and Peace Revive Center and has already broken ground. Upon completion the facility will deliver multiple fields and courts, and indoor FIFA-regulation turf in partnership with Chicago Fire FC, a baseball training academy, and many others. With 75 new jobs created, the TEAM A-designed center is expected to become a respite for the youth in the area when it opens late next year.

The funding hopes to help revitalize the area post pandemic by creating new jobs, including temporary construction jobs and permanent jobs in various professions, while boosting commerce and community safety.

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2 Comments on "City Announces Winners Of We Rise Together Grant"

  1. Overton Elementary is not in Bridgeport!

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