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Community partners break ground on a historic, entrepreneurial and community hub

Community partners break ground on a historic, entrepreneurial and community hub

Stephanie Coleman, Alderwoman of Chicago’s 16th Ward, was joined by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, developers, community leaders, various elected officials, and area residents as she embarked upon a revolutionary groundbreaking development that is expected to attract thousands to the Englewood area.

Ald. Stephanie Coleman

The development is part of Mayor Lightfoot’s invest South/West initiative that focuses on the rebuilding of Black and brown communities.

The “Englewood Connect” development is an entrepreneurial and community hub for local businesses and entrepreneurs. The new center will create local commerce, a culinary ecosystem, and flexible public spaces. These areas will be accessible year-round for residents and surrounding communities.

Alderman Coleman was pleased that African American developer and contractor Zeb McLaurin would be responsible for developing this project.

Englewood Connect will use a mixed-use phase development strategy focused on the Green Street Commons. The Englewood Living Room, a proposed pavilion with operable doors and windows, will be open year-round, allowing for markets, co-working spaces, exhibitions, and places for the community to gather and engage with one another.

Community partners break ground on a historic, entrepreneurial and community hub
MAYOR LIGHTFOOT (center, front) and other officials at the Englewood Connect development groundbreaking are enclosed on the site by testimonies created on wall murals.

Recently Alderman Coleman coordinated and lured over 5,000 people to Englewood to celebrate the art of music by having acclaimed and renowned musical talent perform. The Alderwoman is confident that her vison for the “Englewood Connect” Development will further ensure that Englewood is considered an extremely popular destination point for all Chicagoans.

“Upon being elected nearly four years ago, I pledged to the residents of our ward that for Englewood to capture real economic development, we must market our community as a credible destination point. With the success of the music fest and now the future development of Englewood Connect, we truly have made considerable progress in generating this unique form of traffic to our ward,” says Alderwoman Coleman.

The “Englewood Connect” development restores and reinvigorates one of Englewood’s most historic assets, the landmark Castle Fire Station. Originally built in 1929, the landmark property is now vacant but will be transformed into this multi-purpose venue tailored to the community’s needs. The project will protect the landmark’s structure for the next century. The space will connect nearby amenities to the suite and create a platform for small business growth.

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