City Selects Corridor Managers to Help Revitalize INVEST South/West Corridors

October 23, 2020


Chicago’s INVEST South/West initiative will be supported by community-based organizations that will help coordinate ongoing public and private investments along targeted neighborhood commercial corridors, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced today.

“These committed and passionate community organizations will serve as key, on-the-ground partners to our ongoing mission of reversing the decades of systemic disinvestment in our South and West Sides and expand success across our entire city,” Mayor Lightfoot said. “Thanks to their collaboration and incomparable insights, we will be better able to elevate our community voices and ensure local stakeholders have the guiding roles needed to truly plan and implement the investments our neighborhoods need and build the future we all deserve.”

The organizations, selected in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP) issued this summer, will work alongside City agencies and local partners to increase neighborhood-level economic activity within the historic commercial corridors prioritized by INVEST South/West.

The organizations were chosen for their experience in managing local economic development activities, strong relationships with local businesses and property owners, and good working relationships with community stakeholders.

Each team will lead local business attraction and retention strategies; identify needs and opportunities for public and private investment through monthly corridor roundtables; inform property owners about City economic development programs; market underutilized and vacant land; and help City agencies implement infrastructure and cultural enhancements.

The organizations and their corresponding corridors include:

  • Austin African American Business Network, Chicago Avenue (Austin to Cicero)
  • Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council, 47th and Ashland
  • Chatham Business Association, 79th Street (Ashland to Lowe/Stony Island to Exchange)
  • Claretian Associates/South Chicago Parents & Friends, Commercial Avenue (87th to 92nd)
  • Greater Roseland Chamber of Commerce/Calumet Area Industrial Commission/Chicago Neighborhoods Initiative, 111th Street (Ellis to King)
  • Greater Roseland Chamber of Commerce, Calumet Area Industrial Commission, and Chicago Neighborhoods Initiative, Michigan Avenue (111th to 119th)
  • New Covenant Community Development Corp., Ogden Avenue (Kedzie to Pulaski)
  • Puerto Rican Cultural Center, North Avenue (Lowell to Kedzie/Central Park to Cicero)
  • Quad Communities Development Corp., Cottage Grove (42nd to 47th)
  • West Humboldt Park Family & Community Development Council, Chicago Avenue (Kedzie to Pulaski)

The Chicago office of the Local Initiative Support Corp. (LISC) issued the Corridor Managers RFP in August. LISC will work with the selected management teams to set goals, track progress, and issue regular progress reports.

“These on-the-ground partnerships are core components of Mayor Lightfoot’s community development priorities,” Deputy Mayor Samir Mayekar said. “Each manager will work with elected officials, local stakeholders, potential corridor investors and the Department of Planning and Development’s regional planning staff to provide unprecedented responsiveness and implementation resources for local needs.”

Corridor management services will each be provided through five-year contracts valued at $80,000 per year. Funding will be allocated through the respective Tax Increment Financing districts along each corridor. A corridor manager for the 63rd and Halsted intersection is in the process of being finalized.

INVEST South/West was launched by Mayor Lightfoot last fall to re-activate a dozen commercial corridors on the South and West sides that have historically served as focal points for pedestrian activity, shopping, transportation, public spaces, and other quality-of-life amenities for local residents.