Austin is one of 10 priority communities selected as a part of the initial phase of Mayor Lightfoot’s INVEST South/West commercial corridor improvement strategy.
Launched in October 2019, INVEST South/West's goal is to re-activate neighborhood cores that have historically served as focal points for pedestrian activity, shopping, services, transportation, public spaces and quality-of life amenities for local residents. In Austin, the priority corridor is Chicago Avenue, running from Kilpatrick Avenue on the east to Austin Boulevard on the west.
Austin stakeholders participated in the INVEST South/West kick-off celebration in January 2020 at the Kehrein Center for the Arts. The family-friendly event was one of four held this winter to launch the initiative with in-depth activities that helped participants identify priorities, goals, and key community assets.
More than 600 attendees listened to presentations about the goals and objectives of INVEST South/West, then interfaced with dozens of public agencies about opportunities to improve the community. A summary of the event, including an overview of Austin comments and feedback, is available at right.
In spring 2020, the City formed the Austin Neighborhood Roundtable. Consisting of representatives from city agencies, aldermanic offices neighborhood organizations, small businesses and resident groups, the roundtable seeks to advance local goals through a broad, cross-disciplinary approach that leverages the insights, wisdom, creativity and resources of local stakeholders.
The goal of the roundtables is transparency: to ensure the neighborhood voices are heard and integrated into the priorities of public and private investments, to obtain feedback on INVEST South/West projects as they advance, and to put planners at the table with neighborhood stakeholders. The roundtable will be led and facilitated by local representation, a corridor project manager, once identified.
Questions on the roundtable can be directed to DPD@cityofchicago.org.
Requests for Proposals (RFPs)
5200-24 W. Chicago Ave.
The approximately 34,200 square-foot site on the northwest corner of Chicago and Laramie avenues includes five vacant lots and the vacant, 14,340-square-foot Laramie State Bank building, a designated Chicago Landmark. The RFP seeks the mixed-use rehabilitation of the former bank and new construction on the adjacent land.