ENGLEWOOD — A mixed-use building that was pitched for an Invest South/West project in the heart of Englewood has been revived as part of a major city investment in affordable housing.
Thrive Englewood, an affordable housing project pioneered by DL3 Realty, the real estate team behind Englewood Square, has been proposed for vacant land behind the Square at 914 W. 63rd St.
The mixed-income project would include a six-story building and a five-story building with 103 apartments, five live/work units, retail space and more than 50 parking spaces. Tenants would be able to access both buildings through a common lobby.
A version of the project was proposed for the Invest South/West bids to overhaul a nearly 100-year-old former firehouse near 63rd and Halsted. The city chose an eco-food hub for that site, while the affordable housing project moved forward in December.
Developers are slated to present plans to the Chicago Plan Commission and the Committee on Zoning before it reaches City Council for final review.
Leon Walker, managing partner at DL3 Realty, described Thrive Englewood as a “beacon” along 63rd Street in the development’s proposal. He did not return requests for comment Wednesday.
“The Thrive Englewood team is excited to partner with the city of Chicago to build upon the momentum started with our Englewood Square Shopping Center and bring a new high-quality residential development that is designed to attract working families back to Englewood,” Walker said in a statement in December.
Thrive Englewood will be built in two phases if it secures city backing.
The first phase would focus on the six-story building. It would have 59 apartments, including 25 one-bedroom units, 29 two-bedrooms and five three-bedrooms. Six apartments would qualify as affordable.
It would also have commercial space on the ground level, two work/live units and first-floor amenities, including a management office, community room and fitness center, according to the plans. Tenants would have access to 16 bicycle spaces and seven parking spaces.
The second phase would be focus on the five-story, multi-family residential building. It would have 44 apartments: 20 one-bedrooms and 24 two-bedroom units. Four apartments would qualify as affordable.
The building would also have three work/live units and a first-floor amenity space with a community room, management office, fitness room and bike room, according to the plans.
There would be 65 on-site parking spaces — seven for retail and 58 for tenants — and an open area where neighbors can relax, developers said in their proposal.
The price tag for the project is not clear. When it was proposed for Invest South/West, developers estimated it would cost $28.4 million.
Developers said they will host a community meeting within a few weeks with Ald. Stephanie Coleman (16th), whose ward will include the development, to present the proposal to neighbors.
Also slated for the 63rd Street corridor is Englewood Connect, the $10.3 million project the won the Invest South/West bid to launch the second phase of the Englewood Square and is part two of the Englewood Square development.
Developers will repurpose the firehouse into a commercial kitchen and a business incubator to train start-up businesses. The project will also have an all-season “community living room” where neighbors can gather year-round.
Plans are also underway to bring a grocery store to replace Englewood’s Whole Foods at 832 W. 63rd St.
Whole Foods officials announced in April they would close the Englewood store after less than six years in the community. It opened with great fanfare and a pledge to bring healthy, fresh food options to a food desert.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Walker have vowed to bring another store to the community.
Citing high prices and a lack of community involvement as the reasoning for the store’s closure, Lightfoot said that she will work with neighbors to make investments “that make sense for those neighborhoods.
“We’re going to work our tails off to get a new alternative — one that the community wants and can access and participate in,” Lightfoot said at a May news conference. “It shouldn’t be that we’re plopping something down in a community where we haven’t engaged with them, we haven’t talked to relevant stakeholders to see if it’s something that they want, they need and that they’re going to be able to take advantage of.”
Walker said he and others plan to find a replacement for Whole Foods that best fits the community’s needs — hopefully before the existing store closes.
“We’re coming from a position of passion with the pragmatism of business,” Walker said. “We are passionate and mission-oriented, and we want to see this succeed not just for us and our investors, but for the community.”
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: