10 projects funded by HED bond: West Englewood Farm, Austin Health Center receive $5 million each

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

A West Englewood community farm and an Austin health center are the first projects to receive funding from the City of Chicago’s new Housing and Economic Development (HED) bond, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced last week.

The projects will each receive up to $5 million in bond-funded assistance for qualifying construction costs.

Wood Street Farm Expansion, planned by Growing Home Inc. at 1824 W. 59th St. in West Englewood, will use $5 million to build a USDA-certified produce processing facility for the non-profit organization’s adjacent farming operations.

The $20 million, 76,784-sq. ft. project includes a retail store, café, teaching and commercial kitchen, and community classrooms. An estimated 24 full-time jobs will be created by the project, which will also double the capacity of Growing Home’s workforce development program to 160 people.

The Austin Community Health Hub, planned by Stone Community Development Corp. and Lurie Children’s Hospital at 5046-48 W. includes a new building that will provide physical and behavioral health care services and community responsive health education. The $15.75 million, 22,000-square-foot project also includes gathering space for community groups and a café with outdoor seating. A groundbreaking was held last week.

“Health and wellness projects are essential for community resilience and growth, so DPD is excited to roll out the initial bond proceeds for projects like this that leverage the experience and goals of well-established community-service organizations,” Department of Planning and Development Commissioner Ciere Boatright said.

Both organizations applied for funding through a Community Development Grant application period that closed in February 2024.

Eight additional projects will receive $483,000 to $5 million:

BLK + BRWN Market, 3928-30 W. Roosevelt Road, North Lawndale

  • $1.15 million grant to rehabilitate an existing, 14,300-sq. ft. building as co-working and retail space.

Double Door Theater, 1050 W. Wilson Ave., Uptown

  • $5 million to help restore the former Wilson Theater as a 15,000-sq. ft. music and educational venue.

Evelyn’s Food Love, 5522 S. State St., Washington Park

  • $483,000 to help renovate a 1,600-sq. ft. restaurant space and add a rooftop deck and bar.

Ida’s Artisan Ice Cream & Treats, 3935 W. Roosevelt Road, North Lawndale

  • $512,930 to rehabilitate the first floor of a vacant building as a 15,000-sq. ft. ice cream parlor.

Lucy Gonzalez Parsons Apartments, 2614 N. Emmett St., Logan Square

  • $620,150 to build out a 4,000-square-foot retail space for CityLit Books and Monday Coffee.

Uptown Food Exchange, 4833 N. Broadway, Uptown

  • $1.98 million to restore an 8,680-sq. ft. building as a pan-Asian food market.

Whadda Jerk, 1600 S. Kedzie Ave., North Lawndale

  • $724,296 grant construct a permanent, 1,500-sq. ft. location for a Caribbean restaurant currently operating as a food truck.

XS Tennis Food Court, 5336 S. State St., Washington Park

  • $1.28 million to construct a 6,800-sq. ft. addition to an existing athletic facility that will provide food and beverage services for visitors.

The 10 projects – selected from 150 proposals – are valued at more than $60 million in collective construction costs.

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