Community Development Commission Recommends Projects To Cultivate Small Business in West Pullman and Foster Specialized Education in Hyde Park

June 14, 2011

Molly Sullivan    312.744.2976


The Chicago Community Development Commission (CDC) today recommended City Council approve two projects to foster economic development, one in the West Pullman and the Woodlawn communities.


“The recommendations made by the CDC today continue to move economic development forward in Chicago by bringing City-owned property back into productive use. One project will bring local food manufacturing to one community and the other assures some of our most vulnerable citizens have access to services they need in their community,” said Department of Housing and Economic Development (HED) Commissioner Andrew J. Mooney. 

The CDC gave HED the authority to advertise the City’s intention to enter into a negotiated sale with Reneau Commercial Properties, LLC for the property at 11914 S. Peoria Street for $1, in the West Pullman community. The proposed project will serve as the new home of Margie’s Brands, a ten year old, African-American- owned food business, which will lease and improve the 52,000 square foot two-story building.  Wilbur Reneau owns both entities and is president of Margie’s Brands.  The company’s products will be made at the site, and include fruit spreads, jams, salad dressings, etc.  These items can be found in SuperValu, which owns Jewel-Osco and Save-A-Lot grocery stores, Kroger and Stop and Shop/Giant of Landover food store chains.  The appraised value of the property is $130,000. The small business will initially create 20 permanent jobs and 30 temporary construction jobs.  The property has been vacant since the City acquired it in 2004, when it was donated to the City by the Carl Buddig Company, a meat processing business that consolidated its operations into its south suburban location. 

The Commission also granted HED the authority to advertise its intention to enter into a negotiated sale with the University of Chicago Foundation for Emotionally Disturbed Children for the vacant City-owned land at 910 E. 63rd Street in the Woodlawn community.  The appraised market value of the land is $883,000 and the recommended sale price is $383,000, for a recommended land write down of $500,000, due to the cost of site preparation and soil conditions.  The Foundation provides an academic and residential treatment option for young people who might otherwise be institutionalized through its affiliates, the Hyde Park Day School, a non-profit elementary school for children with learning disabilities, and the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School, a non-profit coeducational residential treatment program for children and adolescents with profound emotional issues.  The project includes construction of a new two-story, 72,000 square foot complex designed to house the Orthogenic School and its Special Needs Residential Building, which will provide 45 residential dormitory units.  The facility will also house the Hyde Park Day School and a shared auditorium/recreational facility.   The schools’ current location is being demolished to accommodate the University of Chicago’s expansion.

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