TIF Proposed for Austin Workforce Training Center and Business Incubator

March 15, 2023


The former Robert Emmet Elementary school in Austin would be rehabilitated as the Aspire Center for Workforce Innovation through $12.25M in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) assistance proposed to City Council today by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot.

The $40.9M project, led by Westside Health Authority, Austin Coming Together, and the Jane Addams Resource Corp., would repurpose the 69,100-square-foot building at 5500 W. Chicago Ave. as a multi-use facility that includes an advanced manufacturing training center, small business incubator, community hub, and event space. On-site services are planned to include job readiness and vocational training, financial coaching, and employment services.

Part of the City’s INVEST South/West community improvement initiative, the project is expected to create 50 permanent jobs and train more than 2,000 workers over the next five years.

The Aspire Center was selected to receive City support through the Department of Planning and Development’s (DPD) Community Development Grant program.

In December 2022, the West Side Health Authority’s POPFit! community plaza opened on a portion of the three-acre property through a $500,000 DPD Chicago Recovery Plan grant.

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