MAYOR LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCES 26 NEW FINALISTS FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT GRANTS

City funding will support $138 million in neighborhood investments

CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined by City officials today announced twenty-six new and expanded restaurants, health centers, cultural institutions, and other neighborhood improvement projects will move forward for Community Development Grants funded by more than $33.5 million from the Chicago Recovery Plan (CRP) and Tax Increment Financing (TIF).


“Each of these projects represents the spirit of Chicago, the creativity and resilience of our local entrepreneurs, and the determination of our healthcare and cultural organizations in creating vibrant and healthy neighborhoods,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “These financial awards are going to be instrumental to the success of each winning project, and I am excited to see how the finished developments enrich the communities surrounding them.”


Valued at approximately $138 million in total costs, the projects were chosen from approximately 600 community development grant applications submitted to the Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD) earlier this year. Individual grant amounts, ranging from $42,000 to $7.25 million, will be used to finance workplace improvements involving interior and exterior renovations, energy efficiency enhancements, new construction, and other business upgrades.


Grant finalists include:

26th Street Sugar Shack, 630 W. 26th St., Bridgeport
5 Rabbit Cervecería, 1901 S. Sangamon St., Lower West Side
Austin Harvest, 423 N. Laramie Ave., Austin
Back of the Yards Algae Sciences Food Facility, 1400 W. 46th St., New City
Blue Tin Productions, 3055 W. 63rd St., Chicago Lawn
Bronzeville Sustainable Commercial Center, 4131 S. State St., Grand Boulevard
Carnitas Uruapan, 3801 W. 26th St., South Lawndale
Chico’s Oven, 3023 E. 83rd St., South Chicago
Emmett Street Market, 2914 N. Emmett St., Logan Square
Esperanza Health, 4720 S. California Ave., Brighton Park
Friend Health, 700 E. 63rd St., Woodlawn
Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St., Loop
Humboldt Park Health, 2933 W. Division St., West Town
Jeffery Java & Old-Fashioned Donuts, 7104 S. Jeffery Blvd., South Shore
Lindo Michoacan, 3142 W. Lawrence Ave., Albany Park
Magnífico Coffee Roasters, 3063 N. Milwaukee Ave., Avondale
Muddy Waters Mojo Museum, 4339 S. Lake Park Ave., Kenwood
Overton Center, 221 E. 49th St., Grand Boulevard
PODER Learning Center, 3357 W. 55th St., Gage Park
Soul City Kitchen, 5021 S. Wabash Ave., Grand Boulevard
Soul Veg City, 1536 E. 75th St., South Shore
Sputnik Coffee, 4743 S. Talman Ave., Brighton Park
The Revival, 906 S. Wabash Ave., Loop
Aspire Center for Workforce Innovation (West Side Health Authority), 5500 W. Madison St., Austin
World Leaders Learning Youth Development, 5906 W. North Ave., Austin
Yu & Associates Collaborative, 3121 N. Halsted St., Lake View

Project selections were based on business readiness, viability, location, design, neighborhood needs, community impact, and other factors. The final design and scope of each project will be finalized in the months ahead with construction expected to be completed in the subsequent 18 to 24 months.


Selected projects include a diverse range of businesses, including an apparel manufacturing cooperative, community health and wellness providers, a multi-generational family bakery, a shared community kitchen, an immigrant integration and job training center, a youth-led produce market focused on West-side food equity, and a brewery relocation from the suburbs to Pilsen. Many of these projects are also reimagining their spaces or rehabbing buildings such as shuttered schools and are focusing on sustainable development.


10 of the 26 projects awarded today are in INVEST South/West communities totaling more than $15M out of the $33.5M awarded. INVEST South/West is an unprecedented community development initiative to coordinate the resources of multiple City departments, community organizations, and corporate and philanthropic partners toward 12 commercial corridors within 10 South and West Side community areas. The initiative has already marshaled over $1.4B in public and private investments that will support small businesses, create public realm improvements, restore historic buildings, and foster equity and resilience where it’s needed most.


“New and expanding businesses have multiple challenges, especially involving project financing, which is what CRP grants help to resolve,” said DPD Commissioner Maurice Cox.


The Chicago Recovery Plan is Mayor Lightfoot’s initiative to foster Chicago’s equitable and healthy emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic, with grant funding being allocated according to strategic priorities identified through the City’s 2022 budget process. The CRP’s financial sources include the federal American Rescue Plan Act, as well as City bond funding and Tax Increment Financing.


A previous allocation of Community Development Grants announced by Mayor Lightfoot in January 2022 is providing $14.4 million to 31 businesses, through a combination of Chicago Recovery Plan, Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, and Tax Increment Financing funds.


For information about specific grant amounts and upcoming application opportunities, visit Chicago.gov/ChiRecoveryGrant.