City proposes more than $18 million in improvements to nine parks

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More than $18 million in facility improvements for nine Chicago parks will be made possible through Tax Increment Financing (TIF) proposals introduced to City Council by Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

The financing will help the Chicago Park District to make upgrades that reinforce the parks’ collective roles as community anchors.

Garfield Park, at 100 N. Central Park Ave. in the East Garfield Park n, will be allocated $8.9 million in TIF to support auditorium interior renovations, electrical upgrades, and roofing and drainage improvements. Additional work will include ballfield and garden enhancements and upgrades that help the park’s former powerhouse and horse stable to serve as a welcome center and gallery space. Project costs will be entirely funded with TIF.

Douglass Park, at 1401 S. Sacramento Dr. in North Lawndale, will be allocated $600,000 in TIF for field house renovations, auditorium electrical improvements, and handicapped accessible upgrades. The cost of the project will be entirely funded with TIF.

Jessie Owners Park, at 8800 S. Clyde Ave. in Calumet Heights, will be allocated $300,000 for pathway paving, lighting, and seating upgrades. The cost of the project will be entirely funded with TIF.

Kiwanis Park, at 3315 W. Carmen Ave. in the North Park community, will be allocated $800,000 in TIF to stabilize the shoreline of the North Branch of the Chicago River, to remove invasive species and restore natural habitat, and to create a multi-use trail. The project, adjacent to the Von Steuben High School campus, will be entirely funded with TIF.

Legion Park, at 5501 N. Kedzie Ave. in the North Park community, will be allocated $2 million in TIF to stabilize the shoreline of the North Branch of the Chicago River, to remove invasive species and restore natural habitat, and to create a multi-use trail. The project, adjacent to the Northside College Prep campus, will be entirely funded with TIF.

River Park, at 5100 N. Francisco Ave. in Lincoln Square, will be allocated $750,000 in TIF to support park boat house improvements. The upgrades will enhance boat storage and water access for Park District paddling program participants. Project costs will be entirely funded with TIF.

Ronan Park, at 3000 W. Argyle St. in Lincoln Square, will be allocated $3.5 million for community garden improvements, a new riverfront plaza, a new performance pavilion, and related landscape improvements. The cost of the project will be entirely funded with TIF.

Park 594, a planned pocket park at 3159 S. Halsted in Bridgeport, will be allocated $350,000 in TIF for fencing, paving, seating, lighting, a drinking fountain and landscaping. The cost of the project will be entirely funded with TIF.

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