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Apartments, Condos And A Health Center Selected For City-Backed Project At South Shore-South Chicago Border

The $47.3 million Thrive Exchange development at 79th and Exchange — with 39 apartments, 24 condos and a health center — was selected as an Invest South/West winner Thursday.

A north-facing rendering of the Thrive Exchange project, which was announced Thursday as the winning proposal for the Invest South/West site at 79th Street and Exchange Avenue.
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SOUTH SHORE — Dozens of apartments and condos, a health care facility and the restoration of a bank building are coming to 79th Street and Exchange Avenue through the city’s Invest South/West initiative, officials announced Thursday.

Thrive Exchange proposes 39 apartments, 24 condos and 11,000 square feet of retail space, including a restaurant and a Chicago Family Health Center facility. It’s backed by a team that includes DL3 Realty, Revere Properties and Claretian Associates.

The project site includes the three-story Ringer Bank building, 7915 S. Exchange Ave., which will be rehabbed to host a medical center and tech incubator. The Chicago Family Health Center is a community partner on the project.

Revere Properties will develop 24 condos on vacant land along Exchange Avenue, across from the former bank building. The units will feature two to four bedrooms, private parking and rear yards.

Thrive Exchange is “an extraordinary mix of new and adaptive reuse,” planning Commissioner Maurice Cox said at a news conference Thursday in South Shore.

The apartments, the Ringer Bank building and the condos “can stand alone, but ideally they’re meant to work together as a community,” Tania Kadakia, DL3 Realty project lead, said in September.

The Thrive Exchange project is expected to cost $47.3 million.

Initial plans called for a $65 million project that would have included a residential campus on the north side of 79th Street with 49 affordable apartments.

“South Shore is such a great, proud community that needs this kind of transformative capital to move things along,” Leon Walker, DL3 Realty managing partner, said Thursday.

The project site is next to the Metra Electric line’s Cheltenham station. The properties are privately owned, save for a city-owned lot at 7909 S. Exchange Ave.

The 79th and Exchange intersection is one of the priorities of the South Shore Corridor Study approved by city officials last year. The study called for transit-oriented developments along Exchange Avenue at 75th and 79th streets, where bus lines and Metra stations converge.

The Ringer Building was built in 1928 and is “very likely” eligible for designation as a Chicago landmark, city officials said in April.

The long-vacant building has many maintenance issues, but the developers are encouraged to preserve the building’s defining features “as much as reasonably possible,” according to the planning department. The department “will strongly support” the developers in seeking landmark status for the former bank.

Thrive Exchange beat out a plan from the Array Innovation Exchange for Invest South/West support. A team behind Array Innovation Exchange, led by Urban Array Impact Development, proposed 40 apartments, several storefronts and a Museum of Black Technology and Engineering.

Credit: Provided
An aerial rendering of the Thrive Exchange project.

Thursday’s news conference celebrated the two-year anniversary of the Invest South/West initiative, which has supported $1.4 billion worth of projects in 10 historically disinvested South and West side communities.

“The destinies of our neighborhoods are intertwined,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. “One neighborhood cannot succeed unless all of our neighborhoods succeed. … We have a careful process in place from ideation to completion to ensure that the changes are positive, catalytic and, importantly, longstanding.”

Officials also announced two projects in Humboldt Park as Invest South/West winners: a five-story, mixed-use project at Chicago and Central Park avenues and the renovation of the landmarked Pioneer Bank building at North Avenue and Pulaski Road.

Seven other Invest South/West projects were announced earlier this year and are planned to begin construction in 2022, including the $23.5 million Galleria 89 project in South Chicago.

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