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26 Community Development Projects Get $33.5 Million In City Funding

Neighborhood restaurants, businesses and community centers were awarded grants of up to $7 million as part of the Chicago Recovery Plan's community development initiative.

Humboldt Park Health's proposed wellness center received $2.5 million in city support.
Chicago Department of Planning and Development
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BRONZEVILLE — More than two dozen restaurants, startups and community groups will get a share of $33.5 million as part of the city’s pandemic recovery initiative.

A new round of funding through the Chicago Recovery Plan Community Development Grant was announced Monday, with 26 businesses and nonprofits getting grants of $42,000-$7.25 million. City officials hope the money will spark more than $138 million in investment in Chicago neighborhoods to help small businesses and community initiatives take root.

The projects were chosen from 600 applications, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office said in an announcement. Ten come from neighborhoods that are part of the city’s Invest South/West initiative, which seeks to boost investment in historically overlooked communities.

“For far too long, many communities in our city had not received the kind of investment they need to thrive,” Lightfoot said at a news conference Monday. “Neglect is not cost-free. … I believe there is a morale imperative to right historic wrongs.”

In Bronzeville, a $5 million grant will accelerate the transformation of the former Overton School that was controversially closed in 2013 into a community center focused on fostering entrepreneurs and nonprofits. The facility will have a media studio for kids, a kitchen that can hold cooking classes and classrooms to further education in business, technology and the arts, said Ghian Foreman, one of the developers in the Overton Center project.

When the school closed, “We thought about the impact this place has had over so many years,” Foreman said. “This is such an important project for the community.”

Overton also recently received $20,000 as part of the city’s Equitable Transit Oriented Development pilot program.

RELATED: Washington Park Market, Community Garden Will Be Expanded At Old Overton School Site — But Organizers Need Your Help

The projects awarded funding through the community development grant are:

  • 26th Street Sugar Shack, 630 W. 26th St.: $91,678.
  • 5 Rabbit Cervecería, 1901 S. Sangamon St.: $250,000.
  • Austin Harvest, 423 N. Laramie Ave.: $250,000.
  • Back of the Yards Algae Sciences Food Facility, 1400 W. 46th St.: $250,000.
  • Blue Tin Productions, 3055 W. 63rd St.: $1.75 million.
  • Bronzeville Sustainable Commercial Center, 4131 S. State St.: $250,000.
  • Carnitas Uruapan, 3801 W. 26th St.: $1,184,300.
  • Chico’s Oven, 3023 E. 83rd St.: $42,013.
  • Emmett Street Market, 2914 N. Emmett St.: $250,000.
  • Esperanza Health, 4720 S. California Ave.: $4.2 million.
  • Friend Health, 700 E. 63rd St.: $2.5 million.
  • Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St.: $250,000.
  • Humboldt Park Health, 2933 W. Division St.: $2.5 million.
  • Jeffery Java & Old-Fashioned Donuts, 7104 S. Jeffery Blvd.: $250,000.
  • Lindo Michoacan, 3142 W. Lawrence Ave.: $375,000.
  • Magnífico Coffee Roasters, 3063 N. Milwaukee Ave.: $250,000.
  • Muddy Waters Mojo Museum, 4339 S. Lake Park Ave.: $116,152.
  • Overton Center, 221 E. 49th St.: $5 million.
  • PODER Learning Center, 3357 W. 55th St.: $2.75 million.
  • Soul City Kitchen, 5021 S. Wabash Ave.: $1,852,116.
  • Soul Veg City, 1536 E. 75th St.: $207,540.
  • Sputnik Coffee, 4743 S. Talman Ave.: $1.2 million.
  • The Revival, 906 S. Wabash Ave.: $250,000.
  • Aspire Center for Workforce Innovation, 5500 W. Madison St.: $7.25 million.
  • World Leaders Learning Youth Development, 5906 W. North Ave.: $156,000.
  • Yu & Associates Collaborative, 3121 N. Halsted St.: $75,750.

The initiative is a component of the Chicago Recovery Plan, which seeks to help the city claw back from the pandemic, which has been especially hard on neighborhood businesses and nonprofits, officials said.

“New and expanding businesses have multiple challenges, especially involving project financing, which is what [the Chicago Recovery Plan] grants help to resolve,” planning Commissioner Maurice Cox said. 

For more on the projects that received funding, click here.

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