TIF Proposed for Austin Youth Development Center

April 27, 2022


An Austin youth development and gang intervention center would be quadrupled in size through Tax Increment Financing (TIF) assistance announced today by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29th).

The $21 million project by BUILD Inc., a gang intervention and youth development organization, would expand the nonprofit’s 10,800-square-foot headquarters by 39,000 square feet through up to $2.5 million in TIF assistance.

"No matter where they live in Chicago, young people deserve access to communitybased resources that chart out a positive path for their futures and help them reach their God-given potential,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “This project will help BUILD Inc., a youth development organization that is dedicated to this mission, expand its reach and impact for generations to come. With a larger center, BUILD Inc. will be able to assist more young people in the Austin community and connect them to the opportunities they need to thrive now and well into the future.”

The expanded complex would feature activity rooms, a gym, fitness center, lounge, game room, office space and other amenities, greatly increasing the organization’s services from its current levels of approximately 2,500 young people every year.

The project is expected to create 70 full-time jobs and retain 90 existing positions. The complex would reside in Austin, one of the 10 priority communities selected as a part of the initial phase of Mayor Lightfoot’s INVEST South/West commercial corridor improvement strategy. Totaling more than $1.4 billion in public and private investment after two years, the initiative provides support for small businesses, creating public realm improvements, restoring historic buildings, and fostering equity and resilience where it's needed most.

“West Side youths need mentoring, guidance, and most of all, a safe place where they can learn to make good decisions and improve their lives,” said Ald. Taliaferro, 29th Ward. “Every dollar of this support will be an investment in Austin’s future.”

The TIF funding, proposed today to City Council, would be provided through the Harrison/Central TIF District. New Markets Tax Credits issued by the Chicago Development Fund, along with other sources, would pay the balance of development costs.

Founded in 1969, BUILD (Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development) is one of Chicago's leading gang intervention, violence prevention, and youth development organizations. Its mission is to inspire hope and offer opportunities so youth facing systemic obstacles can achieve positive futures.

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