Chicago seeking development proposals for projects near transit


Chicago Construction News staff writer

Developers can now apply for funding from Chicago’s Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (ETOD) grant program. The deadline for development grants is Feb. 24 and for pre-development grants is Mar. 14.

The program will allocate $10 million to projects with pre-development and development costs to renovate or construct new spaces and technical assistance “to give them the know-how to make their visions a reality.”

Projects can range from affordable housing to mixed-use developments and initiatives like healthy food retail, community ownership business models and other equity-achieving proposals can receive funding if they are within walking distance of CTA and Metra stations or near high-frequency buses.

“We must significantly improve the ways we invest in our neighborhoods and address the wrongs of the past,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “By making funding available directly to community organizations and local businesses, we are not only being true to our values but also supporting developments that are accessible and transformational for our communities.

“I look forward to seeing the proposals drafted by our community members turn into tangible, equitable, and inclusive developments through this funding.”

ETOD funding will support community-driven development near train stations and high-frequency bus corridors. Projects that show a commitment to advancing health and racial equity and that prioritize walkability and transit-orientation in their design will be prioritized for the funding and support.

Applicants can apply to one of two grant tracks:

  • Pre-development funding up to $150,000 per grant is available for early-stage initiatives that are looking to firm-up their scope, do detailed cost-estimating, confirm zoning compatibility before completing renovation or new construction.
  • Development funding up to $250,000 per grant is available for shovel-ready sites in the advanced planning stages with secure site control and detailed plans in place for renovation or new construction.

“Grants will help community stakeholders to shape their neighborhoods by improving walkability to corner stores, transit options, affordable housing, and other pedestrian-oriented amenities,” said DPD Commissioner Maurice Cox. “We are inviting proposals from community not-for-profits, mission-driven developers and small businesses to create spaces that will ensure a sustainable and resilient recovery in neighborhoods across Chicago, far beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.”


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