Construction is underway for Chicago’s largest mixed-use, Opportunity Zone (OZ) project in the North Lawndale neighborhood. Ogden Commons is a $200 million project that is being developed in partnership with Chicago-based The Habitat Co., Sinai Health System, Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), and the city of Chicago. Once all of the phase are completed, the 10-acre mixed-use development will feature 120,000 square feet of commercial and retail space and over 350 mixed-income housing units.
“This is a great moment for the North Lawndale community, which hasn’t seen new development and investment for too long,” said Matt Fiascone, president of The Habitat Co. “It’s our mission to build impactful developments, and Ogden Commons will create a positive ripple effect in the neighborhood for years to come. Not only will it bring the first new outpatient facilities to the area in more than 20 years, but the project will also add new restaurants, a bank, office space, and much-needed affordable housing—all while creating jobs and building the local economy.”
The project is located in a federally designated Qualified Opportunity Zone on land that was occupied by CHA’s former Ogden Courts and Lawndale public housing developments. The first phase includes 50,000 square feet of commercial and retail space in a three-story building. Ground-floor space will be occupied by Steak n’ Shake, Ja’ Grill, and Wintrust Bank. The rest of the building will be leased to Sinai Health System, where it will be able to offer more outpatient services while adding capacity to its dialysis therapy programs, and Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Cinespace will use its office space for two nonprofit affiliates: Cinecares, which offers job training in film production for disadvantaged youths, and State 18, a film industry incubator to expand Chicago’s talent pool in TV and movie production. PNC has funded $15 million of the $22 million first phase development cost with a combination of debt and OZ equity.
“As the first to go to market with our Opportunity Zone Fund, we were able to work with the city of Chicago, the CHA, and Habitat to equitably reinvest in a project on Chicago’s West Side, which will provide affordable community health care, small business growth, job creation, and other positive economic impact,” said Thurman “Tony” Smith, PNC senior vice president and community development market manager in Chicago.
The first residential phase, which is targeted to close in the fall, will have 111 mixed-income units with approximately 90% being affordable. The entire mixed-use development is slated to be completed by 2026.