City awards $33.5 million in Chicago Recovery Plan grants for community construction projects

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced $33.5 million in construction grant awards through the city’s Recovery Plan Community Development program.

The program assists business owners with building costs such as storefront upgrades, construction, or renovation.

Some 26 projects in nearly two dozen city neighbourhoods will receive the city funds. The projects were chosen from approximately 600 grant applications submitted with individual grants ranging from $42,000 to $7.25 million, WGN-TV reported on May 2.

“I’m a gardener. We’re tilling the soil. Planting the seeds, watering it,” Lightfoot said. “Starting to see the first sprouts break through the ground. I want to be here to reap that harvest.”

  • 26th Street Sugar Shack, 630 W. 26th St., Bridgeport
  • 5 Rabbit Cervecería, 1901 S. Sangamon St., Lower West Side
  • Austin Harvest, 423 N. Laramie Ave., Austin
  • Back of the Yards Algae Sciences Food Facility, 1400 W. 46th St., New City
  • Blue Tin Productions, 3055 W. 63rd St., Chicago Lawn
  • Bronzeville Sustainable Commercial Center, 4131 S. State St., Grand Boulevard
  • Carnitas Uruapan, 3801 W. 26th St., South Lawndale
  • Chico’s Oven, 3023 E. 83rd St., South Chicago
  • Emmett Street Market, 2914 N. Emmett St., Logan Square
  • Esperanza Health, 4720 S. California Ave., Brighton Park
  • Friend Health, 700 E. 63rd St., Woodlawn
  • Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St., Loop
  • Humboldt Park Health, 2933 W. Division St., West Town
  • Jeffery Java & Old-Fashioned Donuts, 7104 S. Jeffery Blvd., South Shore
  • Lindo Michoacan, 3142 W. Lawrence Ave., Albany Park
  • Magnífico Coffee Roasters, 3063 N. Milwaukee Ave., Avondale
  • Muddy Waters Mojo Museum, 4339 S. Lake Park Ave., Kenwood
  • Overton Center, 221 E. 49th St., Grand Boulevard
  • PODER Learning Center, 3357 W. 55th St., Gage Park
  • Soul City Kitchen, 5021 S. Wabash Ave., Grand Boulevard
  • Soul Veg City, 1536 E. 75th St., South Shore
  • Sputnik Coffee, 4743 S. Talman Ave., Brighton Park
  • The Revival, 906 S. Wabash Ave., Loop
  • Aspire Center for Workforce Innovation (West Side Health Authority), 5500 W. Madison St., Austin
  • World Leaders Learning Youth Development, 5906 W. North Ave., Austin
  • Yu & Associates Collaborative, 3121 N. Halsted St., Lake View

A news release from the mayor’s office says selections were based on business readiness, viability, location, design, neighborhood needs, community impact, and other factors. The final design and scope of each project will be finalized in the months ahead with construction expected to be completed in the subsequent 18 to 24 months.

The mayor is hopeful the investment will help overcome crime challenges in the city.

“Every few years there’s a huge spike in violence and we throw massive amounts of police resources at it and it comes down but then it comes back again a couple years later. Same spike, down, massive police resources. What’s the definition of insanity? By doing the same thing and expecting a different result,” Lightfoot said. “Insanity is only focusing and putting, frankly, the burden on our police department to solve all of our historic wrong and social issues. We’ve got a different strategy and a different approach.”

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