Chicago Fire building multi-million-dollar performance center and training fields

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

The Chicago Fire Football Club will build a multi-million-dollar training facility in the Roosevelt Square neighborhood on the Near West Side.

Also, the Fire will provide an $8-million community investment to be used for the rehabilitation and preservation of nearby CHA housing and the creation of indoor and outdoor community spaces, according to a land lease signed last week with the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA).

It is estimated that the new development will generate $40-million over the next 40 years for the CHA housing mission, including ABLA Brooks Homes, Loomis Courts, and William Jones. Construction on the training facility is anticipated to begin later this spring.

“The Chicago Fire, one of our city’s greatest sports teams, deserves to have a high-quality training facility that not only meets their needs but fosters the growth of talented athletes,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “This new facility will both fulfill this need and provide the surrounding West Side community with job opportunities, recreational activities, and community gathering spaces.

“Additionally, the millions of dollars in rental income generated by this project will support the CHA’s efforts to rehabilitate and build affordable housing in the surrounding areas.”

The new center will include a 53,000 square-foot, two-story performance center, two-and-a-half hybrid grass pitches and three synthetic turf pitches, providing a world-class training environment for the Fire’s professional and Academy players and staff. Hybrid grass pitches will feature a hydronic heating system, and the turf pitches will be protected by an insulated dome from November to March each year.

The 23.3-acre site bounded by Roosevelt Road, Ashland Avenue, 14th Street, and Loomis Street, was occupied by portions of CHA’s former ABLA Homes, which is already in the process of being replaced by the mixed-income Roosevelt Square community as part of CHA’s ongoing commitment to develop mixed-income, mixed-use housing.

In January, CHA and Related Midwest, broke ground on Roosevelt Square Phase 3B, a $172 million project that will include 222 new homes and 184 renovated apartments. CHA will continue efforts to develop mixed-income housing in the area on nearby vacant CHA parcels, private land, and city-owned land.

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