Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Uptown Scores Big In Latest Round of Community Development Grants Awarded by City

On Monday, Mayor Lightfoot announced the awarding of nearly $50million in Community Development Grants to 79 businesses, intended to "enhance the vitality and livability of local neighborhoods."

While the vast majority went to businesses on the South and West Side, Uptown was very well represented this round, and we'll be seeing the difference the grants made right at the corner of Wilson and Broadway, and elsewhere.

The grants went to (in alphabetical order):

  • Chicago Market, 4620 North Broadway: $5,200,000. In a mailing and on its website, Chicago Market explains the steps that will come next, first securing a bank loan using the grant as collateral. And then it answers the question on all our minds:

    "And when will our store be open? Once we close on the bank loan, we expect to begin store construction by the end of the year. Our permitting and construction timeline is about 9+ months, so we expect to be open by mid-late 2023.

    Speaking of 2023, it turns out that is the 100 year anniversary of our beautiful home, the Gerber building! So together we'll celebrate Gerber's 100th as our Co-op celebrates Day One.

    A few thank you's are in order. First, we have to thank each and every one of you - the Chicago Market Owners! Without you, this project would never have seen the light of day. This is, and will always be, your Market.

    Beyond that, we Owners all owe a great debt of gratitude to Alderman James Cappleman for his tireless support of our business for so many years — as an Owner, as an investor, and as a City advocate. Always at our side too has been the Uptown Chamber of Commerce — the whole team there now, including executive director Sarah Wilson, but also special thanks to past director Martin Sorge who advocated for us so much in the early years. We're also pleased to have the ongoing support of Alderman Harry Osterman — though we're not in his Ward, he does love good food in Uptown!

    And lastly, thanks to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) for welcoming us into their building and encouraging and supporting us through the process."

  • CircEsteem, 4730 North Sheridan: $3,697,925. According to CircEsteem's Facebook page, the money will go to customize its building, the former Lakeside Theater, which it recently acquired ownership of from Alternatives.

    "We’ve engaged the wonderful support of Juan Moreno and his team at JGMA Architects to design a building that will put our best foot forward and enable us to better serve thousands of youth for years to come. We will officially become owners of the building in mid-August, and plan to begin renovations in the beginning of 2023. Stay tuned for opportunities to contribute to the design development and for updates on where our programs will be temporarily hosted as we prepare for a new chapter of home ownership at CircEsteem.

    As the Executive Director of CircEsteem, I want to express my sincerest gratitude to the City of Chicago – Government, Chicago Mayor's Office, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman, the City of Chicago Department of Planning & Development, and all the other public officials who have deemed our project worthy of such an incredible award. And on behalf of CircEsteem’s youth, staff, board of directors and greater community throughout Chicago, thank you for your continued support.

    We can’t wait to welcome you into our new home next year!"
  • Marina's Cafe and Rum Bar, 4554 North Magnolia: $135,525. Marina's is due to open in September, and will offer a fusion of Puerto Rican and Latin American cuisine. It's currently open as a catering operation.
  • People's Music School, 931 West Eastwood: $90,750. The school has provided tuition-free musical instruction to young people since 1976, and has recently opened satellite programs in other areas aside from Uptown.

    On its Twitter page, it says: "The People’s Music School is a proud @chicagodpd Chicago Recovery Plan finalist! We’re honored to have been chosen from among 600 applicants and are excited to be at today’s press conference. The grant will fund the restoration of the Rita Sim├│ Roof Deck at Uptown Academy!"
A complete list of the grants awarded is here. We are so grateful that our little part of the city has been so enriched!

The deadline to apply for a third and final round of grants in 2022 is August 19. For more information, click here.

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