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Bronzeville, Near South Side

Northwestern’s $130 Million Bronzeville Clinic, 43 Green And Black-Owned Dispensary Get Key City Backing

Four projects on the Near South Side are one step closer to reality, potentially bringing a health care center, plus businesses and homes to the area. The City Council will vote on the proposals Wednesday.

A rendering of the planned Northwestern Medicine outpatient facility in Bronzeville.
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GRAND BOULEVARD — A slate of big projects throughout the Near South Side are moving forward after getting key city backing Thursday.

The city’s Plan Commission approved proposals for a $130 million Northwestern Medicine outpatient facility in Bronzeville’s Cottage Grove Avenue corridor; the second phase of 43 Green, a transit-oriented, mixed-use project near the Green Line; a Black-owned dispensary in South Loop; and a new residential development.

Each project is scheduled for City Council review next week. Here’s more:

Credit: Jamie Nesbitt Golden/Block Club Chicago
A rendering for Northwestern Medicine’s community clinic coming to Bronzeville.

Northwestern Medicine’s Bronzeville Clinic

The development team behind Northwestern Medicine’s Bronzeville outpatient clinic received a zoning change allowing them to build a residential and business development in a vacant lot in the 4800 block of South Cottage Grove.

Plans call for a $130 million, 100,000-square-foot facility to be built on the lot, with a full-service clinic offering primary/specialty care, behavioral health and preventative care. The ground floor would have space for retail and community programs, along with an onsite lab and pharmacy.

The project would bring up to 1,500 construction jobs and 130 permanent jobs to the area, and the development team hopes to make the facility sufficiently sustainable for LEED certification. There are also plans to build a public alley between 48th and 49th Streets.

Northwestern Medicine officials have spent the past year on a listening tour, asking for input from residents on what they would want from a neighborhood clinic. The health care provider is collaborating with community organizations, including Bright Star Church, with whom they’ve partnered on wellness initiatives.

Construction could begin in early 2023 and be completed by 2025.

Credit: Provided.
A rendering 43 Green, a transit-oriented development under construction in Grand Boulevard.

43 Green Phase II

43 Green is set to move forward with the next stage of the much-touted, $35 million project next to CTA’s 43rd Street Green Line station.

The second phase of the plan calls for a 10-story building with 80 residential units: 24 studios, 48 one-bedrooms and eight two-bedrooms. It would also have retail space, 13 parking spaces and 53 bike spaces.

The first part of the development wrapped in August. Members of the team celebrated with a “topping off” ceremony. BOWA Construction is leading buildout efforts, with JMF Designs CEO Jacinta Mercier-Fisher handling the interior design. Artist Roger Carter will oversee the installation of a mural.

The project has the approval of Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), who has said she hoped 43 Green will be a catalyst for other development in the area. Several developments are in the offing for the 43rd Street corridor, including The Forum and the Lillian Marcie African American Performing Arts Center.

Credit: Provided.
Black-owned Family Roots Dispensary is looking to take over a South Wabash storefront in the South Loop.

Family Roots Dispensary

Black-owned Family Roots LLC is seeking to convert an old South Loop Potbelly sandwich shop into a cannabis dispensary. The $650,000 project would create 30-50 construction jobs and 30-45 permanent positions.

CEO Matt Brewer, a native South Sider and Harvard Business grad who started the company with his mother and brother, has been met with some resistance from neighbors who worry the dispensary will increase loitering and crime. But Ald. Sophia King (4hth) told the zoning committee she doesn’t believe the dispensary will bring “additional negative impacts” to the South Loop.

In addition to City Council approval, the project must also get endorsement from the Zoning Board of Appeals, which requires the team to have one more public meeting.

Credit: Provided.
A rendering of Solar Lofts a residential development coming to the Near South Side.

Solar Lofts

Solar Lofts, 2556 S. Federal St., is a redevelopment of an old warehouse near the Stevenson Expressway.

Developer 548 Capital is looking to convert the building once owned by the Nation of Islam into a mixed-income building with 47 residential units, retails shops, 25 parking spaces and a solar-powered rooftop. Sixty-eight percent of the development is affordable and — through 548 Capital’s nonprofit, the 540 Foundation — participants from their workforce program will install the solar panels.

Black-led 548 Capital redeveloped two apartment buildings in Auburn Gresham, turning them into affordable housing. The Federal Street project has the support of Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), who commended Managing Partner A.J. Patton and his team for their “phenomenal work” in returning the dilapidated warehouse to use.

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