The Habitat Company recently welcomed Ja’ Grill as the first restaurant tenant to open its doors at Ogden Commons, the real estate firm’s 10-acre $200 million development in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood that is the city’s largest mixed-use opportunity zone project. Upon completion, Ogden Commons will bring 120,000 square feet of commercial and retail space and approximately 350 mixed-income housing units to North Lawndale.
The Ogden Commons location, at 1407 S. Washtenaw Ave., is the second Chicago site for Ja’ Grill, which is known for its authentic Jamaican cuisine and has a flagship restaurant in Hyde Park. The new location is open daily for lunch and dinner and will have patio seating available during the warmer months. Momentum Coffee, a minority-owned coffee shop and co-working space, is also scheduled to open its ground level retail space at Ogden Commons later this spring.
“We take pride in our Caribbean spice and lively atmosphere at Ja’ Grill, and we’re bringing that flavor to Ogden Commons, working together with other area businesses to create more dining options in this historic part of the city,” said Ja’ Grill Owner Tony Coates. “It’s very exciting for us to be able to contribute to the growth of North Lawndale and serve as a beacon for the community where everyday people can congregate and enjoy great food, camaraderie, and togetherness.”
Housed in a three-story commercial building that was completed in 2021 as the first phase of Ogden Commons, Ja’ Grill joins other building tenants, such as Wintrust Bank and Sinai Health System, which is scheduled to open its full-service outpatient surgical and ambulatory center this summer.
"Ja’ Grill is a wonderful and much-needed addition to the North Lawndale neighborhood – it’s the exact type of retailer we envisioned for Ogden Commons in helping draw more people to this area by offering fantastic food as well as employment opportunities,” said Charlton Hamer, senior vice president, Habitat Affordable Group. “The immediate-area was almost a dining desert, but with large employers like Sinai Healthcare and CineSpace Studios next door, not to mention the neighborhood’s existing residents as well as the future residents of Ogden Commons, Ja’ Grill was definitely an important piece of the puzzle in creating a vibrant mixed-use development.”
Phase II of Ogden Commons, which will include 110 mixed-income apartments, is expected to break ground later this year with first occupancies slated for Fall 2023. Built over multiple phases, the entire project will transform the mostly vacant property near Douglass Park into a vibrant destination to live, work, and play. Ogden Commons is scheduled to be complete by 2026.
In addition to Habitat, other development partners in Ogden Commons include Sinai Health System, Cinespace Chicago Film Studios and the Chicago Housing Authority, with James McHugh Construction Co. and Bowa Construction serving as general contractors for the development.
About The Habitat Company:
Now celebrating 50 years in business, The Habitat Company is a full-service residential real estate company specializing in property management, acquisitions and development. One of the largest residential property developers and managers in the United States, with over $3 billion in assets and more than 25,000 units under management across six states, the company’s portfolio spans a range of property types, from mid- and high-rise condominium, apartment and adaptive reuse developments to senior and affordable housing communities. Headquartered in Chicago, with more than 800 employees throughout the United States, Habitat is dedicated to improving the communities it serves through innovation and a commitment to excellence.