Neighborhood Opportunity Fund Grant Will Support New HQ for North Lawndale Employment Network
A vacant North Lawndale banking facility will be redeveloped as the new campus for the North Lawndale Employment Network (NLEM) through a $2.5 million Neighborhood Opportunity Fund grant approved by City Council today.
The funding will support the $6.9 million rehabilitation of the two-story building at 1111 S. Homan Ave., creating approximately 48,400-square-feet of space for the organization to centralize its operations.
The complex will include dedicated space for offices, training, and an apiary and production area for NLEM’s workforce development entity Sweet Beginnings LLC, a local purveyor of raw urban honey and honey-infused skincare products. The project also includes a café and Wintrust bank branch with drive-thru service.
City support also includes $1.1 million in New Markets Tax Credits, which are issued by the Chicago Development Fund through a U.S. Treasury tax incentive program.
The project is expected to create up to 13 new jobs and retain 41 positions that will be consolidated on-site.
NLEM is a community-based organization that provides training, coaching, and support services to the formerly incarcerated and others with significant barriers to employment.
The Neighborhood Opportunity Fund uses voluntary payments from downtown construction projects to support neighborhood commercial corridors on the South, Southwest, and West Sides. Projects with grant amounts exceeding $250,000 require City Council approval.