Community celebrates the upcoming land acquisition from the City of Chicago; self-sustaining collection of buildings and services first-of-its-kind in the nation

Joined by hundreds of civic leaders and community members at the future site in Chicago’s Southwest Side, elected officials from all levels of government today announced the official launch of the Focal Point Community Campus development to commemorate the upcoming land acquisition from the City of Chicago. As local neighbors waved signs emblazoned with the theme of the event – “This Land is Our Land” – the leaders described plans for the more than 1 million square foot complex, an innovative collection of retail, wellness, education, arts and recreation buildings and services.
“Focal Point is a game changer for Chicago’s West and Southwest side communities. The campus will be the first of its kind and can serve as a model for community development across the nation,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin . “All Americans deserve access to health care, and as a part of the Focal Point community campus, Saint Anthony Hospital will continue its great work providing quality care to people in the community who need it most.”
“Focal Point will provide a central gathering place for residents of North Lawndale, Little Village, and Back of the Yards to have the kinds of services and opportunities so important to creating economically vibrant communities,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This community campus is an expression of our ongoing commitment to helping neighborhoods throughout the southwest side and across Chicago grow and thrive.”
The Focal Point Community Campus will be the first-of-its -kind in the nation and serve as a source of financially sustainable community development for the more than 400,000 residents on the under-resourced Southw est and West Sides of Chicago, including Lawndale, Little Village, Pilsen, Brighton Park, Back of the Yards and Archer Heights neighborhoods.
“We are here today to celebrate a victory for the working class families on the South and Southwest Sides of Chicago. There is some hard work ahead as we raise money to get this project over the finish line, but we do not shy away from a challenge. This new development will help give back to this area and provide it with a fresh new face that brings jobs to our local residents,” said Congressman Danny Davis – 7th District.
To spearhead the development and bring it across the finish line , Chicago Southwest Development Corporations ha s engaged an experienced team including : Jones Lang LaSalle commercial real estate services and project management, HDR A rchitecture ’s award-winning design and a construction management tri -venture between Turner Construction/DENCO/Ardmore Associates.
The new Focal Point Community Campus will feature:
Major retail tenants, providing community members access to food, clothing and household items
  • A newly constructed Saint Anthony Hospital, which will continue to provide emergency and medical care that, turn s no one away, regardless of ability to pay
  • An outpatient and specialty clinic, to meet a wide range of rehabilitative and health maintenance needs
  • An education center, offering a variety of educational opportunities including a charter school and a trade school
  • A child care center, offering a convenient location for quality child care
  • A recreation center, complete with a basketball court and half Olympic-size pool, providing a sanctuary for at-risk youth
  • A variety of wellness programs that will provide information on topics such as healthy food preparation, classes for new parents and more
  • A hospitality center for community m embers to rent for personal use
The elected and civic leaders also outlined how the development will provide thousands of good-paying and career -oriented jobs for the area, including:
  • 3500 construction jobs through the development and building of the campus
  • 400 new jobs in addition to the 1,000 fulltime SAH current jobs in healthcare
  • Approximately 500 new jobs for the multiple levels of retail
  • Approximately 400 new jobs in education, recreation, hospitality, childcare and campus operations
“The National Latino Education Institute is an excited partner for this transformative development. When the Washburn Trade School went away, it took with it an engine that provided job education for our community. Now, our new trade school and the variety of programs and services that will be offered at Focal Point will equip our community with the tools for education advancement and revitalize the surrounding neighborhoods with job training and employment growth,” said Elba Aranda-Suh, Executive Director, National Latino Education Institute.
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