BACK OF THE YARDS — A key Back of the Yards neighborhood group is getting a new headquarters on Ashland Avenue.
Craig Chico, CEO and president of the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council, said the council will be relocated to a development at 4630 S. Ashland Ave., which was previously home to Aronson furniture store and showroom. A performance theater will included in the project.
“It’s a really big parcel of land in the heart of our retail corridor, so it’s important for so many reasons,” Chico said. “It’s needed, and it’ll be a beautiful addition to what we’re doing over there.”
This project will sit only a block away from the United Yards development on 47th Street, which is bringing more affordable housing and a community hub to the retail strip.
Chico said housing is particularly important in the neighborhood, since households in Back of the Yards average 120 years old. It hasn’t been decided exactly how many units of housing the Ashland project will have, he said.
The performance theater will be available for any artist groups in the neighborhood to use, but especially for the neighborhood council’s renowned Ballet Folklorico group.
“It’s not intended to be a revenue generator, but we want to be able to provide some performance space that doesn’t exist currently in the community,” Chico said.
The neighborhood council is working with architects JGMA and Park Row Development on the project. Chico said demolition on the site is slated to begin in about a month. More community engagement is planned, which means some details about the project could change.
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