The city has broken ground on a new $65 million Chicago Park District (CPD) Campus in the Brighton Park neighborhood at 4800 S. Western, relocating from its previous Streeterville location.
A joint venture between F.H. Paschen and All Construction, which includes minority- and women-owned business enterprise participation, is building the two-story circular structure, designed by John Ronan Architects.
“With our historic post-COVID recovery around the corner, we simply cannot afford to pass up on opportunities to invest in our South, Southwest, and West Sides, which have borne the brunt of this pandemic,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a July 15 statement. “The creation of this new Park District headquarters and series of park amenities will bring good-paying sustainable jobs and resources to Brighton Park residents, as well as reinvigorate the local economy by supporting nearby INVEST South/West projects. I commend the Park District for choosing to invest in Brighton Park and further amplifying the transformative impacts of our ongoing neighborhood investments.”
The CPD Campus will feature a 58,100 sq. ft., multi-story, administrative office space making it more accessible for the community. An additional 20,000 sq. ft. will house the park fieldhouse with a gymnasium, fitness center, bathrooms, locker rooms, and community multi-purpose rooms.
The total 17-acre footprint also includes outdoor park improvements including, artificial turf athletic fields with lighting, a grand lawn, walkways, a playground, spray pool, natural area, and parking. The site is also accessible via public transportation on the #48, #49, and #94 CTA bus routes and the Orange line CTA “L” stop located at 49th Street and Western Avenue.
Approximately 350 construction jobs will be created, including carpenters, masonry workers, and painters, the mayor’s office says in a statement..
This project creates a unique opportunity for the Chicago Park District to own, rather than lease, administrative office while addressing the deficit of open space per capita in Brighton Park. Brighton Park has an open space need of 66.68 acres, placing it in the top five, park-deficient communities in Chicago.
In the search for a new administrative headquarters, the Park District explored several locations across the city. The site at 48th and Western was selected due to the city’s prioritization for neighborhood investment, the need for additional open space acreage in the community, the site’s direct access to public transportation, and the large size and neighborhood context of the available property. The Park District acquired the site in 2018, began environmental remediation of the site and design work in 2019. The project was issued for bid in the summer of 2020.
Upon completion of the new campus in Brighton Park, the CPD will move from the Time-Life Building in Streeterville, the space it has occupied since 2001. Previously, the District relocated to Streeterville from its headquarters on McFetridge Drive to make way for the Soldier Field renovation.
Funding includes multiple sources including, New Market Tax Credits and Tax Increment Financing.