City Seeks Mixed-Use Development Proposals for Humboldt Park, South Shore

April 23, 2021

Former Pioneer Bank, sites served by Cheltenham Metra station, among the newest round of INVEST South/West Request for Proposals


Three new Requests for Proposals (RFPs) issued by the Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD) are targeting a pair of commercial corridor opportunity sites in Humboldt Park and a transit-served location on the border between South Shore and South Chicago, Commissioner Maurice Cox announced today.

Created through a year-long community engagement process, the RFPs are seeking mixed-use projects that directly respond to the needs of stakeholders that live and work nearby. RFP goals include the development or rehabilitation of retail and commercial spaces, housing, and related uses, Cox said.

“Each of these sites are community focal points that can directly deliver on the promise of INVEST South/West,” Cox said. “In terms of neighborhood improvements and growth potential, here’s where developers and investors are being encouraged to focus their resources, their creativity, and their local partnerships.”

The RFP sites include:

4000-08 W. North Ave./1616-38 N. Pulaski Road
Anchored by the long-vacant Pioneer Bank building, the site includes an adjacent, .75-acre parking lot. RFP goals include new retail and commercial amenities, affordable rental and for-sale housing units, public open space, and opportunities to celebrate local arts and culture.

3601-25 W. Chicago Ave.
The block-long, .68-acre site includes two, one-story buildings, a parking lot, and an alley. RFP goals are their replacement with a multi-story structure with ground-floor retail, mixed-income residential units above, and office space for Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, which currently occupies a portion of the site.

2908-26 E. 79th St./7901-33 S. Exchange Ave.
The two-part, 1.7-acre site includes three vintage, low-rise buildings and vacant land adjacent to the Cheltenham commuter station on Metra’s Electric Main Line. RFP goals are the construction and rehabilitation of transit-oriented, residential options and ancillary commercial uses.

Responses to all three RFPs are due Aug. 31, 2021. Winning selections are expected to be announced by DPD later in the year.

The creation of each RFP was coordinated through community visioning sessions and neighborhood roundtables led by DPD staff. Each RFP includes conceptual renderings provided pro bono by architects HED and CallisonRTK, JGMA, and bKL, through coordination with the Chicago Central Area Committee. Each RFP also includes a pre-qualified list of design teams to help selected developers recruit emerging and minority- and women-owned architecture firms.

Except for one City-owned lot at 7909 S. Exchange, individual parcels within each RFP site are privately owned. The respective property owners are participating in the RFP process and are expected to coordinate their sales with the selected development teams.

DPD may consider development assistance for each proposal with incentives that could include Tax Increment Financing, Neighborhood Opportunity Fund grants, Adopt-a-Landmark grants, purchase-price assistance, and other resources.

Pre-bid meetings scheduled for mid-May will provide opportunities for interested development teams to ask questions about each sites and potential City assistance.

Selected developers will undergo a community-based review process, as well as formal City reviews that could include the Chicago Plan Commission, the Community Development Commission, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, City Council, and potentially other agencies.

INVEST South/West is an unprecedented community improvement initiative under Mayor Lightfoot to marshal the resources of multiple City departments, community organizations, and corporate partners within 10 neighborhoods on Chicago’s South and West sides.

Two previous rounds of INVEST South/West RFPs have targeted sites in Austin, Englewood, Auburn Gresham, New City, Bronzeville, South Chicago and North Lawndale.

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