Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, along with partners from 548 Development and Related Midwest, broke ground recently on 4300 W. Roosevelt, one of the Invest South/West RFP winners. Spanning 21 acres, the North Lawndale site is bounded by Roosevelt Rd, and Kostner, Kildare and Fifth Avenues. Prior to being purchased by the city, the industrial corridor was occupied by a Copenhagen snuff plant and other industrial users before being cleared in the 1980s and 1990s. In the 1990s, the site was a source of controversy when several aldermen took bribes to allow illegal dumping of hazardous materials on the land, which created dangerous conditions for nearby residents and led to an FBI probe known as Operation Silver Shovel.
"I'm thrilled to see this project get underway and deliver job opportunities and community gathering spaces to North Lawndale residents," said Mayor Lightfoot. "Through INVEST South/West, we are creating visible enhancements while providing good paying jobs to communities that have been denied resources for far too long, and this project is no different. Not only will this project revitalize the surrounding community, but it will also strengthen our city’s industrial and innovation sectors."
The $68 million project will deliver two 181,760 square foot, solar-powered industrial warehouses with more than 50 dock spaces designed by Ware Malcomb. Two 5,000 square foot innovation centers and a public park for community use will occupy the south end of the site, designed by Lamar Johnson Collaborative. The innovation centers will maximize opportunities for neighborhood groups to host community meetings and events as well as workforce development programs.
The neighborhood park will adjoin the innovation center buildings and is designed to support activities such as markets, food trucks and pop-up stands. The landscaping plan by Site Design Group aims to reintroduce native biodiversity through replanting historic ground species. The 3-acre green space will offer three distinct public spaces, a circuitous fitness path, and over 300 shade trees throughout the site. In addition, the project will include a three-megawatt rooftop community solar system that will be supported by a West Side training program and power approximately 500 West Side homes.
The project is expected to bring 250 temporary jobs and 250 permanent jobs to North Lawndale. City support for the project includes $8 million in Tax Increment Financing assistance and the sale of 21 acres of City-owned land for $1 per lot. General contractors Pepper Construction and GMA Construction Group will build the development, with completion expected for Fall 2024.