BRIGHTON PARK — After years in the making, Park District officials expect their new headquarters on the Southwest Side to be ready for business in 2023.
Park officials gave an overview of the project at a community meeting Wednesday, describing the campus and talking about future programs at the Brighton Park facility. They broke ground last month at 4800 S. Western Ave.
The plan includes a 58,100-square-foot office space, as well as a 20,000-square-foot field house with a gym, fitness center and multi-purpose rooms. Outside, there will be artificial turf fields, a playground, a spray pool and a natural area. There will be 100 bicycle stations and 200 parking spaces, officials said.
The $65 million project is being built across a 17-acre site.
Nearly two dozen locations were considered for the facility, but Park District officials selected Brighton Park because it “provides significant value to the community and the agency,” said Director of Development Heather Gleason.
Gleason said the headquarters will transform the former industrial site into a “premier community open space” for the surrounding community.
City Council approved the plan in October.
Some have raised concerns the project could spur gentrification in the predominantly Latino neighborhood. A high school student said Wednesday they worried about Black and Brown residents being displaced, while two other students said they felt not enough input was gathered from local youths and other residents.
Park District officials said they met with members of the Brighton Park and Back of the Yards Neighborhood Councils, Shields Middle School and local Alds. Ed Burke (14th) and Raymond Lopez (15th).
During the groundbreaking, city officials said they hope moving the agency’s headquarters from its current spot in Streeterville to Brighton Park would provide a needed boost to the Southwest Side community, helping nearby businesses.
“This is a huge plus for the Southwest Side, with anything new. It’ll get some getting use to and nothing is 100 percent satisfactory,” one attendee wrote during the meeting.
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