LOGAN SQUARE — Kosciuszko Park, the neighborhood’s largest park at eight acres, is getting a makeover.
The park at 2732 N. Avers Ave., long known for its flooded baseball fields and old playground equipment, is set to receive $1.85 million in Tax Increment Financing dollars, Ald. Milly Santiago (31st) announced late Friday.
The money will fund “across the board” improvements to the park, according to Geary Yonker, member of the park advisory council. The field house, pool and both the baseball and soccer fields will all see significant upgrades.
An outdoor fitness center will replace the park’s basketball court, which hasn’t been useable since the park district removed its hoops about a decade ago. New ADA-compliant benches will be installed throughout the park.
As part of the TIF allocation, the park district has also approved the construction of a dog area. The project — a community-led effort that launched in 2016 — will be funded through Santiago’s participatory budget and donations — not TIF dollars.
Yonker, who has been advocating for improvements to the park since the advisory council’s inception three years ago, said the community’s diligence paid off.
“It was a lot of people putting in a lot of work and showing up and saying they weren’t going to let these ideas go,” Yonker said.
Yonker also thanked Santiago for her leadership on the project.
“People have concerns about TIFs taking money from public facilities,” Santiago said in a press release. “But this project is a clear testament of the use of TIF fund investments in our communities, especially for public parks.”
In the release, Santiago said she has also secured additional TIF funding for the Portage-Cragin Library and Foreman College and Career Prep. She said she plans to announce more details soon.
Do stories like this matter to you? Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from