ENGLEWOOD — The city is asking developers for proposals on how to redevelop two central locations in Englewood and Auburn Gresham, including expanding the Englewood Square shopping center that brought a Whole Foods to the area in 2016.
The Phase Two of Englewood Square is one of two projects the city’s Department of Planning and Development wants developers to bid on as part of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s INVEST South/West Initiative. The second area is the 79th Street Corridor in Auburn Gresham,
The city put out a “request for proposal” seeking ideas for projects. Developers could benefit from city incentives such as tax increment financing dollars. Developers can submit formal proposals in November.
With Englewood Square entering Phase Two, the city is looking for developers to turn surrounding lots at 6204 S. Green St., 6231 S. Sangamon St., 914 W. 63rd St., 6244 S. Halsted St., and 6150 S. Green St. into a mixed use development.
The centerpiece of the project is the old firehouse at 62nd Street and Halsted St., which was granted landmark status in 2003. A recent resident survey suggests it would be an ideal space for a restaurant or a community center, and potential developers should have a plan to implement the vision, said Mich.
While some environmental remediation has been completed on the parcels, any one interested in taking on the project must to have the ability to pay for the rest, said planner Luke Mich.
Englewood Square opened in 2016, featuring the first Whole Foods supermarket on the Southwest Side. The shopping center sits on 13 acres, five of which are already occupied by several retailers, including Villa, Chipotle and Starbucks.
The second project is in the 79th Street Corridor, a focus of a series of redevelopment plans this year.
The redevelopment project would complement the “healthy lifestyle hub” coming to the Auburn Gresham neighborhood in 2022. That project — helmed by the Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation, Urban Growers Collective and Green Era Partners — recently won the $10 million Chicago Prize.
The tract of land at 838-58 W. 79th St., near Leo High School, would be ideal for another development that combines stores and homes, said planner Patrick Brutus.
With the recent departure of several retailers, including Bank of America, CVS and Save-A-Lot, officials are hoping the proposed development will lure businesses back.
Ald. David Moore (17th), who told Block Club in February he was still searching for “suitable replacements” for the area, has thrown his support behind the plan.
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