The Chicago City Council has approved the rezoning for Soul City Kitchens. Located in Washington Park, the City of Chicago declared Soul City Kitchens as the winner of the Invest South/West RFP for the site back in February 2022. Currently home to an old Streets and Sanitation facility, the building will be adaptively reused with a new addition constructed behind it.
Planned by Urban Equities Inc, the orange-rated building will be adaptively reused into affordable commercial kitchen space. Giving culinary entrepreneurs access to commercial kitchen space to build their businesses, the developers hope to support food truck owners and give emerging chefs a place to sell their food.
With SmithGroup and TnS Studio working on the design, the existing 1,500-square-foot structure will be renovated, with a 12,000 square foot addition added behind the original building. The original building will hold a private tasting room, with 11 separate leasable kitchens inside the new building. Dry storage, freezer, and cooler space will be available to rent in the basement of the new addition.
With the approval from the Community Development Commission back in September 2022, the two plots of land will be sold to the developer for $2, or $1 per parcel. Written down from an appraised value of $90,000, the developers are financing the $5.3 million project with $265,000 in equity, $3.1 million in lender financing, and $1.85 million from a Chicago Recovery grant.
With City Council approval, the site has been rezoned from RT-4 to B3-3. While permits have yet to be filed, the project is targeting a 2024 opening.