A plan to build new headquarters for the Chicago Park District in the southwest side neighborhood of Brighton Park is ready to move forward after scoring its first construction permit.

Slated for a 17-acre site near the intersection of 48th Street and Western Avenue, the new two-story facility features a circular design from Chicago-based John Ronan Architects clad in a scalloped metal screen.  The 78,000-square-foot building will not only contain offices for the Park District but also serve as a fieldhouse for three new athletic fields and a community playground and spray pool.

First announced in 2018 by then-mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Brighton Park project was seen as a way for the Park District to own rather than rent its offices and to make an investment in one of Chicago's neighborhoods. The city agency will move out of offices in Streeterville, which belong to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

John Ronan Architects

"The development of the Brighton Park site for the Chicago Park District headquarters is a win-win situation for the district and the community," said Superintendent Michael Kelly in a 2018 statement. "In addition to the efficiencies of owning our headquarters, we are bringing much-needed parkland and amenities to the children and families of this community.”

In December, the city's Transportation Committee voted to vacate 19,000 square feet of South Campbell Avenue near 48th Street, reported the Chicago Sun-Times. The move was seen as one of the final hurdles facing the long-discussed project.

The new HQ will relocate 200 existing Park District jobs to Brighton Park and is expected to create approximately 350 construction jobs in the process. The permit estimates the scope of the work at $55 million and lists F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen & Associates as the project's general contractor. 

John Ronan Architect