April 15, 2011

Mayor Daley Dedicates New CHA Legends Community Center

Mayor Thanks Residents of South Side Communities For Their Help in Moving the City Forward
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

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Mayor Richard M. Daley today dedicated the new CHA Legends Community Center located at the Savoy Square Apartment Community, 4448 S. State St. and thanked the residents of the 3rd and 4th Wards for their help in moving the City forward.

“I’m here today to thank every resident, every business and every not-for-profit for their advice, support and cooperation. Thank you for participating in the process. Thank you for your ideas, your input and your time,” Daley said at another stop on the “Neighborhood Appreciation Tour” he is making before he leaves office in May.

Daley pointed out that Legends South will, when completed, result in 557 units of mixed-income rental housing created in four developments. They include Mahalia Place, Hansberry Square, Coleman Place and this site, Savoy Square. The apartment community will include a broad range of green amenities, from the construction to the appliances and landscaping.

“Standing here today, I am pleased to see the progress we have made in transforming the old vision of public housing into a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization, and I am confident that the progress will keep moving forward,” said Mayor Daley. “Now we have vital communities where residents of mixed incomes live together in neighborhoods with good schools, jobs, shopping, housing and parks.”

The Mayor said Legends South is just one of many new developments. All across the city, new communities have been completed and occupied with a combination of public, affordable, and market rate housing. Thousands of CHA residents have moved to better circumstances, many are finding employment each year and the annual incomes of working CHA residents have nearly doubled.

“I truly believe we have established a model for other cities seeking to create large-scale change in public housing and in entire neighborhoods,” Daley said.

Since Daley launched the CHA Plan for Transformation, $3.2 billion in public and private resources have been invested in the effort. The CHA has redeveloped or rehabilitated more than 20,000 units of housing since 1999, which is more than 80 percent of the way towards its goal.

The Mayor highlighted some of the major accomplishments that the City and the residents of South Side communities have accomplished together:

  • The current construction of the Park Boulevard Development, which will replace Stateway Gardens and will bring 1,316 units in multiple phases. In addition, the TRC Senior Village I, a 71-unit independent living development for low-income seniors opened last year.
  • The City has invested in public safety infrastructure throughout the community, including:
    • The creation of the 1st District Police Station in 1999 at 1718 South State Street - one of the first new stations opened through the Neighborhoods Alive program.
    • The construction of the Chicago Police District Headquarters in 2000 that replaced the previous headquarters at 11th and State streets.
    • Construction of a new fire house at 3901 South Wabash Avenue which is scheduled for completion in 2012.
  • Extensive renovations and improvements to 40 schools in both the 3rd and 4th Wards. Examples of the renovations include:
    • Accessibility enhancements at DuSable Campus, Attucks and Mollison Schools
    • Enhancement to schools that offer World Language Programs, such as: Canter Middle School, Fuller School and Murray Academy.
  • An increase in the amount of open space throughout the communities, including:
    • The Chicago Park District constructed three new park sites and 15 new playgrounds at Poplar, Washington and Taylor Parks. 
    • The addition of a new beach to the Chicago Park District’s roster with Oakwood/41st Street Beach, which now includes a 2,750 square foot beach house, and makes it a total of 24 swim beach locations along the lakefront.
    • Plans for the 31st Street Harbor Project, which is anticipated to be complete in 2012 and will feature: approximately 1,000 new boat slips, Harbor Facilities, and two acres of new park space with a playground, open lawn areas, new bike paths and terraced steps.
    • Renovations to the 41st Street Beach House, located at 4101 S. Lake Shore Drive, completed in 2010.
  • More than $140 in TIF-generated public infrastructure and facility improvements has been dedicated to projects throughout the community, including:
    • The construction of the new Board of Education Teacher’s Academy in 2004; the investment of TIFWorks funds in the health clinic provided for excellence in healthcare supervision and customer servcie, which are industry specific training models.
    • The rehabiliation and construction of numerous affordable and mixed-income housing developments.
  • The utilization of the Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) uses TIF revenues to help owners of commercial and industrial properties within specific TIF districts to repair or remodel their facilities for their own business or on behalf of tenants. 
  • The City has renovated two neighborhood Chicago Public Library branches: Chicago Bee Chicago Public Library and the Timothy B. Blackstone branches.
  • Designation of the George C. Hall Branch by the Friends of Libraries USA and Illinois Center for the Book in 2000, as a Literary Landmark in recognition of the Library’s promotion of African American literary culture by serving as a meeting place for such writers as Arna Bontemps, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lorraine Hansberry, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay and Richard Wright.
  • World Business Chicago assisted Therapeutics Proteins Inc. relocate and expand to a 39,000 square foot facility at IIT University Technology Park / Wexford Life Sciences center. 
  • The utilization of TIF funds to assist the Renaissance Collaborative which is a Transition Jobs Training Program. The program trains community residents in light landscaping and janitorial skills.
  • Improvements to public transportation on behalf of residents, including:
    • The transformation of the Red Line which resulted in a more reliable and efficient rapid transit service to the South Side in 2006.
    • The total reconstruction of the Green Line, which included station rehabs at the 35th-Bronzeville-IIT, Indiana, 43rd, 47th, 51st and Garfield stations as well as new rail and structural steel along the 20- mile-long structure.
    • Reconstruction of the 47th Street viaduct over Lake Shore Drive into new architecturally pleasing pedestrian bridge that is more accessible to bicycles and pedestrians accessing the Lakefront trails.
  • The construction of the 4th Ward Streets and Sanitation Yard located at 4352 S. Cottage Grove was completed and open in 2005 by the Public Building Commission. The Ward Yard achieved LEED Silver Certification from the United States Green Building Council.
  • The creation of several landmark designations including the Chicago Orphan Asylum at 5120 S. King in 2009, the "Black Renaissance" literary properties, including the George Cleveland Hall Branch Library at 4801 S. Michigan in 2010, Griffith-Burroughs House at 3806 S. Michigan in 2010, and Richard Wright House at 4831 S. Vincennes in 2010 will ensure the 3rd Ward's past will be an important part of its future.
  • The City’s Department of Family and Support Service provided numerous services to improve the quality of life for residents of the 3rd and 4th wards:
    • The expansion of the Summer Nutrition Program, which is part of a nationwide effort, now provides more than a million free meals to hungry children in Chicago. Over 65,000 free meals were served to low-income children in the area in 2010.
    • The administration of the Summer Mini Grants program, which strengthens leadership skills, build better community relationships and help young people 10 to 18 years of age use the summer months to explore career options and possibilities. Over 3,700 youth have benefited from the Summer Mini Grants programs annually, with several organizations in the area participating. 
“Working together, we’ve brought Chicago into the 21st century, and given it a bright future. It’s been a joy and an honor to be your Mayor,” Daley said.
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