A vacant, former branch of the Chicago Public Library would be sold to an immigrant advocacy organization for $1 under a plan proposed to City Council today by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Latinos Progresando, a nonprofit that provides low-cost legal aid to Chicago’s immigrant population, will rehabilitate the vacant structure at 2724 W. Cermak Ave. to use as offices and community meeting space.
Additionally, the basement will be renovated to provide space for two tenants. The first is Esperansa Health Center, a healthcare provider that will offer behavioral and mental health services. The second is Lincoln Park Zoo, which will run educational programming for the Southwest Side community out of the space. It will be the zoo’s first remote office.
The cost of the renovation is $2.1 million. Beyond the $250,000 land write-down, additional City support includes a $250,000 grant from the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund.
Public benefits include low-cost legal service for at least 850 people annually, free services for immigrant victims of domestic violence, community education on immigration issues, and a commitment to hire at least a fifth of its workforce from residents who live in nearby ZIP codes.
The two-story, 9,330-square-foot building has been vacant since 2009, when the Marshall Square Branch Library closed and was replaced by the Little Village Branch at Kedzie and 23rd.
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