WEST HUMBOLDT PARK — Plans to revamp two West Humboldt Park sites are moving forward.
The city is looking for developers to overhaul the Pioneer Trust & Savings Bank at 4000 W. North Ave. and 1616-38 N. Pulaski Road and a languishing stretch at 3601-25 W. Chicago Ave. City officials on Friday issued a request for proposals for the two West Humboldt Park sites, along with a third site in South Shore at 2908-26 E. 79th St. and 7901-33 S. Exchange Ave.
All three of the sites are being redeveloped as part of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s $750 million INVEST South/West Initiative, which aims to inject South and West side neighborhoods with new life.
For the Pioneer bank site, which has sat vacant for 13 years, the city is seeking a developer that can address gentrification-fueled displacement in the area. The plan calls for converting the 1920s bank into a cultural and community hub geared toward the neighborhood’s Latino residents and building a 100-percent affordable housing complex for local families on the empty lots next to the bank.
The city’s vision for the block-long Chicago Avenue stretch is a multi-story development with ground-floor retail, mixed-income apartments and office space for Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, an organization that currently calls the site home. The goal is to strengthen the languishing Chicago Avenue corridor and make it a place “where Humboldt Park residents can live, shop and socialize,” the city said in the request for proposals.
With the redevelopment projects, the city is looking to give an economic boost to the greater Humboldt Park area, a neighborhood that has suffered from disinvestment and population and job losses as gentrification has forced some longtime residents out. Developers have until the end of August to submit their proposals.
The city came up with a plan for both sites after months of collecting input from residents and community leaders.
The sites are privately owned. The city is intervening to facilitate redevelopment and provide subsidies to fill gaps in funding.
The Pioneer Bank project is one of two major projects planned for the intersection of North Avenue and Pulaski Road. Developer Hispanic Housing Development Corporation is looking to redevelop the Jens Jensen-designed Pioneer Arcade building at 1535 N. Pulaski Road into a 61-unit senior housing building, city officials said in the request for proposals.
The city is opening up the West Humboldt Park and South Shore sites to developers while still accepting bids on developments in Bronzeville, Back of the Yards, North Lawndale and South Chicago. City officials recently announced the winning development proposals for a round of INVEST South/West projects in Austin, Englewood and Auburn Gresham.
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