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Can the Silver Shovel Site become the Cubs Youth Baseball Center or Cold Storage? West Siders may consider plans to modernize former dumping ground

NORTH LAWNDALE – Several developers are looking at the West Side’s largest part of vacant land, and residents of North Lawndale will have a say in which project is approved by the city.

The old Silver Shovel dump – also knows Mount Henry to its inhabitants – is a painful reminder of the government’s neglect of black societies. The vacant plots were once an illegal dump where construction companies, many of them city contractors, piled hazardous waste six floors high.

Six development teams are competing to develop the 20.8-acre site at Roosevelt Road and Kostner Avenue under the city’s INVEST South / West initiative. Developers will present their plans at community meetings where residents can provide feedback.

Register here to attend the virtual presentations at 5.30pm on Tuesday Feb. 23rd and Wednesday Feb. 24.

The illegal Silver Shovel dump was a security threat, a magnet for crime, and the toxic dust blown off the mountain with construction waste caused health problems for nearby residents since the dumping began in 1990. Community members appealed to city, state and federal environmental agencies. to stop dumping and clean up the debris, but their voices were largely ignored for years, said resident Gladys Woodson, who has lived near the country for nearly 50 years.

“We still feel the effects of the dump sites that were here,” she said. “It affected many of our elderly people, and it affected many of our children. … Many of our young people had severe asthma problems from this site. ”

Can the Silver Shovel Site become the Cubs Youth Baseball Center or Cold Storage? West Siders may consider plans to modernize former dumping ground
An aerial photo of the Silver Shovel website.

In 1996, it was revealed why government agencies closed their blind eyes to hazardous waste: the man who orchestrated the dumps was an FBI mole involved in a corruption sting known as Operation Silver Shovel. They allowed dumping to catch politicians being bribed to allow dumping.

The dumps were not cleaned up until 1998, and promises from the then mayor Richard Daley to use city dollars to develop the plots for something that can help the community were unfulfilled – until now.

Here are the six projects that can finally renew the site.

Refrigerator and fitness center for workforce

McCaffery & KMA Development aims to develop an on-site freight, distribution and freezing warehouse.

It will also include a vocational training center to house vocational programs. The center wanted a cafe and a “community wealth-creating engine” to support entrepreneurs, the plan said. Around 60 homes would also be built on the site.

The proposal was developed with A Safe Haven, a Lawndale-based non-profit organization that helps people overcome homelessness.

Cooling and innovation center

Related Midwest and 548 Capital aim to build two industrial buildings on the vacant plots that will be distribution points with cold rooms and production tenants.

Around 10,000 square meters will be dedicated to an innovation center for the Lawndale community.

Cubs Urban Youth Academy And Storage

Cubs Charities and Pritzker Realty aim to build one Cubs Urban Youth Academy baseball fitness center on the south side of the property. The campus will include a multi-purpose facility, outdoor field and common area.

The north side of the parties would house an industrial warehouse run by the Pritzker Realty Group.

Industrial plant and Employment training program

CNI Group, East Lake Management MK Asset and Lawndale United aim to build an industrial facility that will offer reduced rents of 10 percent of the space to attract small businesses. Approximately 4,000 square feet will be devoted to a training program for employment and a support center for entrepreneurs.

The project was developed in collaboration with Black Men United, CEDA, Trinal and Westside American Job Center.

Industrial Buildings and the West Side Works Auto Training Program

Matanky Realty, Safeway Construction and WBS Equities aim to build West Side Works, a car mechanic training facility and a convenience store along Roosevelt Road. The project will also include several industrial buildings.

The plans may also include a rooftop youth baseball gym and a business incubator.

The plan was created in partnership with the North Lawndale Employment Network, a non-profit non-profit organization that supports residents with barriers to employment.

Industrial buildings and community center

RK5 Development aims to build a community center that will have a sports and recreation association, artist studios, collaboration rooms and a coffee shop.

Several industrial buildings would house cold stores, production and warehouses.

The proposal was planned by developers McLaurin JGMA, Beehyyve, McKenzie Management, BOWA, and with organizations such as Art West Chicago, Nation Builders, Project Forward and UCAN.

Ald. Michael Scott Jr. (24.) said that he is happy that there are at least six proposals, which gives the citizens a choice where one is fulfilled. The proposals being evaluated have the potential to bring jobs to Lawndale and boost the local economy, Scott said.

“You have a myriad of different ways to get this case done,” Scott said. “We can take the best, and one we know will work.”

Whatever proposal is chosen, Woodson hopes the project will serve the interests of West Side residents.

“I do not want them to forget who was affected by this,” Woodson said. “Who is going to benefit from what they decide to have there on these sites? I hope it is something that benefits society. ”

Pascal Sabino is a report for corps member in America that covers Austin, North Lawndale and Garfield Park for Block Club Chicago.

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