Pepper Construction, GMA Construction Group break ground on industrial site and Innovation Center in North Lawndale

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

The City of Chicago, 548 Enterprise and Related Midwest, have joined contractors Pepper Construction and GMA Construction Group to break ground last week on a industrial development at 4300 W. Roosevelt Rd. in North Lawndale.

The $68 million project will leverage the location’s strengths in freight and logistics with four new buildings, including two 181,760 sq. ft., solar-powered industrial warehouses with more than 50 dock spaces and two 5,000 sq. ft. innovation centers and a public park for community use.

RooseveltKostner_Aerial
Renderings courtesy Lamar Johnson Collaborative

Support for the project includes $8 million in tax increment financing assistance and the sale of 21 acres of city-owned land for $1 per lot.

To design the four new buildings, 548 Enterprise and Related Midwest collaborated with Lamar Johnson Collaborative, a full-service Chicago-based design and architecture firm committed to enhancing the quality of the human experience, for the design of the innovation centers. Chicago-based Ware Malcomb provided design services for the industrial center.

RooseveltKostner_OpenSpace“Lamar Johnson Collaborative is thrilled to have an opportunity to work with 548 Capital and Related Midwest to design two innovation centers that anchor the Roosevelt and Kostner development and spotlight two spectacular nonprofit organizations doing amazing work and having a positive impact on North Lawndale,” said Lesley Roth AIA, Principal, Lamar Johnson Collaborative.

The general contractors on the project are Pepper Construction, a Chicago-based, family-owned, 90-year old commercial construction company, and GMA Construction Group, a Black-owned MBE with extensive experience rehabbing developments throughout Chicago.

“Construction of this project at Roosevelt and Kostner is a game changer for the North Lawndale community,” said Ald. Monique Scott (24th). “I’m proud that it balances the need for good-paying jobs in an in-demand industry with the services that our community needs to start fresh on this site and build a bright future.”

The project is expected to be completed in Fall 2024.

The groundbreaking featured a solar panel demonstration, local musical talent Bianca Shaw, and breakfast pastries and coffee provided by North Lawndale establishments Bee Love Cafe and Trini’s Tasty Pastries.

“I’m thrilled to see this project get underway and deliver job opportunities and community gathering spaces to North Lawndale residents,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “Not only will this project revitalize the surrounding community, but it will also strengthen our city’s industrial and innovation sectors.”

The neighborhood park will adjoin the innovation center buildings and is designed to support activities such as markets, food trucks and pop-up stands.

Landscaping plan by Site Design Group (MBE) aims to reintroduce native biodiversity through replanting historic ground species. A three-acre green space will offer three distinct public spaces, a circuitous fitness path, and over 300 shade trees throughout the site. In addition, the project will include a three-megawatt rooftop community solar system that will be supported by a West Side training program and power approximately 500 West Side homes.

“The project at 4300 W. Roosevelt is an industrial development that will create 250 permanent and 250 temporary jobs in North Lawndale and will rely on state-of-the-art renewable energy technology that will bring enormous economic benefits to West Side families,” said AJ Patton, CEO of 548 Enterprise. “Being able to deliver this combination of benefits to the community—particularly on a site that has been the source of so many challenges for the community in the past—is what drove me to do this work, and I’m thrilled to be a partner on this one-of-a-kind project.”

Prior to its acquisition by the city, the industrial corridor was occupied by a Copenhagen snuff plant and other industrial users before being cleared in the 1980s and 1990s. In the 1990s, the site was a source of controversy when several aldermen took bribes to allow illegal dumping of hazardous materials on the land, which created dangerous conditions for nearby residents and led to an FBI probe known as Operation Silver Shovel.

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