The Habitat Company is excited to share their recent participation as Developer Consultant on the City of Chicago’s project team for the Invest South/West initiative, a City program that kicked off in October 2019. The goal of this ambitious program is helping revive some of Chicago’s historically disinvested neighborhoods, and Habitat played a key role in building out the bidding process for the next phase of redevelopment of the 79th Street corridor on the City’s southeast side.
As the Developer Consultant, Habitat worked alongside two architectural firms, a design firm, and an appraiser to pull together the 60-page Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 79th Street corridor, consisting of two adjacent sites at the east end of the corridor – at the corner of 79th Street and South Exchange. The 79th Street corridor was selected after Habitat’s project team virtually explored and vetted five different potential redevelopment sites and toured in-person the selected 79th Street corridor site.
The RFP has been released to the general public, officially opening the submission period for developers. Interested companies can now share their plans and visions of development for this corridor, showing how they will enhance the sites and surrounding community. Habitat is precluded from submitting a response to the RFP or participating in any development projects in the corridor due to our role as Developer Consultant in the RFP’s creation.
Our team consisted of Steve Galler, Lori Chacos, and Marisa Doherty – all a part of Habitat’s legal team, as well as Matt Hayes, Associate Analyst at Habitat. The team participated in over 100 hours of meetings as part of this pro-bono engagement, working tirelessly from early February through mid-April. They actively attended bi-weekly Zoom and Teams meetings that ranged from internal strategy sessions with City staffers and officials, to meetings with community stakeholders and active residents solicited by the two Aldermen whose wards include the 79th Street corridor.
Habitat’s involvement in the Invest South/West’s 79th Street corridor project team originated through the Chicago Central Area Committee (CCAC), a local civic-minded, not-for-profit entity that Habitat has supported for many years, and on whose Executive Committee Habitat’s Steve Galler currently serves.
The CCAC was formally engaged in 2020 by the City of Chicago to assist in the Invest South/West RFP production for multiple sites on the south, southwest, and west sides, and Habitat volunteered to serve as Developer Consultant through our participation with CCAC.
Habitat is thrilled to have had the opportunity to participate in the creation of this RFP as Invest South/West continues forward by helping serve and enhance these communities through creating job opportunities, better housing, and more necessary amenities for current and future residents.