Open Space Investments Approved for Northwest and West Sides

October 16, 2019



Financial measures approved today by City Council will support open space improvements to a Northwest Side public school complex and a community garden on the West Side.

Hibbard-Edison Elementary Schools, 4900 block of North Sawyer Avenue
CPS will receive $3.5 million in Tax Increment Financing assistance for costs associated with rebuilding outdoor play areas shared by students of three schools and neighborhood residents. The schools include: Albany Park Multicultural Academy, Hibbard Elementary School and Edison Regional Gifted Center in Albany Park. Work will include upgrades to an existing playground; new open spaces; new fencing, lighting and signage; and improved landscaping. The remainder of the $3.6 million project will be paid by Chicago Public Schools.

Harambee Community Garden, 455 North Waller Avenue
Harambee Community Garden in Austin will be purchased from its private owner and redeveloped for permanent gardening use through $62,000 in Open Space Impact Fees. Currently occupied by perennial flowers, shrubs and trees, the .75-acre site will be transferred to the non-profit NeighborSpace land trust, which will provide liability insurance for ongoing use by local gardeners. Planned improvements will include permanent water access and environmental enhancements. The $202,000 project will also be supported by $30,000 in 29th Ward aldermanic funds and private donations.

Open Space Impact Fees are generated by new residential development projects are earmarked to improve and expand public open spaces within the City’s 77 community areas.


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