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Land Bank seeks partnership to redevelop Washington Park Bank

A new chapter for the Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA; the Land Bank) was marked on September 10 when it issued its first Request For Proposal (RFP) for a mixed-use commercial development. The RFP calls for the renovation of the 94-year-old Washington Park National Bank Building located at the corner of 63rd Street and Cottage Grove. The once thriving 35,000-square-foot historical bank has been left vacant for more than two decades.

In partnership with the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), the Land Bank facilitated a community-led process to help construct the requirements of the RFP by engaging the community directly throughout its development. Residents wanted the renovated property to become a “signature marquee” of the Woodlawn community, including retail shops, commercial offices, and medical facilities. The RFP asks for a plan that will use modern, exciting architecture and design while remaining respectful to the historic nature of the building and community in general.

To help guide the future redevelopment of 63rd street corridor the Land Bank has established the following primary objectives and parameters for the Project in consultation with community input:

  • Redevelop the property with high quality, mixed-use development to serve the Woodlawn and adjoining communities, and transform the property into an economic and jobs generator with creativity in plan and program, excellence in architectural design and long-term viability
  • Maximize the economic, social, historical, and ecological values of the property while supplementing the offerings through new market rate development
  • Establish a new “signature marquee” development to serve as the gateway to the Woodlawn community and linkage to surrounding stakeholders and neighborhoods.
  • Unlock the value of the property (63rd & Cottage Grove) / Washington Park National Bank Building through reuse, renovation, redevelopment and/or replacement of the structure.
  • Leverage the site’s key location within this rapidly expanding and evolving neighborhood, proximity to downtown and accessibility to public transportation and roadways
  • Attract a high-quality mix of uses, including but not limited to retail, commercial, office, medical services and local and national tenants, that reflect the tastes, incomes, and needs of the immediate neighborhood and broader communities, while also serving to fill the critical demand for new services and retail offerings.
  • Feature quality urban design and architecture that is respectful of the surrounding context, cognizant of the sites history and responsive to the opportunities, while also integrating more modern and new development of the surrounding area.
  • Restore the urban character and context, particularly along the 63rd Street corridor, as lively, continuous community commercial streetscapes.
  • Establish an accessible pedestrian friendly environment that can serve the growing elderly and disabled population as a model of effect accessibility through quality streetscape, architectural and open space design.
  • Require inclusion of Woodlawn residents as suppliers, professional service providers and construction trades.

In an effort to directly engage the Woodlawn community and transform the space into a vibrant anchor for the neighborhood, the Land Bank held three meetings that were open to the public this year. Many local residents who attended showed support for transforming the structure into a mix of entertainment, office and business incubator space. The requests shaped the nature of the RFP and will guide the Land Bank through its selection process.

Find more information about the RFP at bid-documents/. The pre-bidder meeting will be held Tuesday, September 18th with the initial submission date on Monday, October 1st, 2018. The deadline to submit a final proposal is October 31st, 2018, with a decision deadline of December 13th, 2018. Responses can be submitted via Adobe PDF format to [email protected].

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