Land Bank Announces Development Plan for Washington Park Bank Building
CHICAGO, IL - Today the Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA; the Land Bank) selected a development partner for a mixed-use commercial development of the Washington Park National Bank Building in Woodlawn, located at the corner of 63rd Street and Cottage Grove in response to the Request For Proposal (RFP). Revive 6300, a joint venture between DL3 Realty, LP and Greenlining Realty, USA, LLC has been selected as the recipient of the Land Bank’s Washington Park National Bank Building RFP.
Revive 6300 plans to construct a new office and retail building designed to be a vibrant community hub that meets the needs of neighborhood residents and will include a mix of retail, community, and nonprofit commercial space. The building will be anchored by the YWCA’s co-working and business development center which will serve as a space for south side entrepreneurs, with an emphasis on women of color, to grow their businesses. The University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement plans to operate an extension of its Community Programs Accelerator, which offers supportive services to south side nonprofits and leaders. The project will also include a bank and additional retail amenities on the ground floor helping to activate the street of this transit oriented development.
In partnership with the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), the Land Bank facilitated a community-led planning process to identify the community’s vision for the longstanding vacant and neglected building. Residents requested a proposal that would bring new amenities to the neighborhood including retail, commercial, event and non-profit/community space and a financial institution in a building that will serve as the “signature marquee” of the Woodlawn neighborhood. The Land Bank formed a selection committee that included an architect, developer, real estate finance professional, community representative, and a Land Bank board member. The selection committee unanimously recommended Revive 6300 to the CCLBA Board of Directors.
“We worked through several rounds of meetings and considered the best interest of the community in making this decision,” said Rob Rose, Executive Director of the CCLBA. “The plan to build a new structure was not made lightly - there are services and goods that the community needs, and Revive 6300 presented the best possible option for addressing those requests. We are looking forward to the completion of this project and the creation of a space that will serve the community in a meaningful way with spaces for co-working, banking, retail and business growth and development.”
The selected development team is led by two African American men, raised on the south side: Lamell McMorris (Greenlining Realty USA, LLC) and Leon Walker (DL3 Realty, LP). Leon has extensive experience delivering community-based development projects including the Whole Foods anchored Englewood Square
Shopping Center, and the new Jewel Osco full service grocery store at 61st and Cottage Grove. The team has a proven track record of bringing high impact developments to Chicago’s south side communities.
“Revive 6300 will have a ripple effect that will help catalyze additional investment and opportunities for Woodlawn. Our proposal will bring high quality co-working, retail, and banking services to the community where it currently does not exist, but where there is clear demand from neighborhood residents,” said Leon Walker, Manager of DL3 Realty, LP. “It is our goal that this project will continue the revitalization efforts of the community and restore the vitality of the neighborhoods we knew as kids” said Lamell McMorris, Founder of Greenlining Realty USA, LLC
The YWCA will operate a coworking and small business development center in partnership with a national coworking enterprise in the building that will serve as a space for south side entrepreneurs, with an emphasis on women of color, to grow their businesses. “Building on our long history of providing critical support services to the south side of Chicago, we are excited to have the opportunity to further expand our small business development center in Woodlawn,” said Dorri McWhorter, Chief Executive Officer of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago. “The south side is home to many innovative entrepreneurs in need of a space to grow their businesses. By providing training and technical assistance, as well as a coworking center, we are able to reach more business owners in the area, support them in their pursuits and contribute to the economic development of the community.”
About the Cook County Land Bank Authority
Founded in 2013, CCLBA works to empower local developers, community groups and potential homeowners by giving them tools to transform their own communities from within. The Land Bank acquires properties that have sat tax-delinquent, abandoned and vacant for years in order to sell them at below-market rates to qualified community-based developers, who then rehab the homes. This not only keeps revenue and jobs in the community, but also helps local developers grow their businesses.
Developers sell these affordable homes to homebuyers, putting once vacant properties back onto the tax rolls.
The CCLBA was founded by Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer to address residents and communities hit hard by the mortgage crisis. The creation of CCLBA brought together a large contingency of community, policy and advocacy groups to build its mission and goals: promote redevelopment and reuse of vacant, abandoned, foreclosed or tax-delinquent properties; support targeted efforts to stabilize neighborhoods; stimulate residential, commercial and industrial development – all in ways that are consistent with goals and priorities established by local government partners and their community stakeholders.