Community Development Commission approved TIF funds to help develop art residences and affordable housing

Staff Writer

The Community Development Commission approved $6.5 million dollars in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds to help replace vacant land in the Washington Park area, 63 E. Garfield Boulevard, and for the development of artist residences and 49 units of affordable housing.

The $22 million project from Brinshore Development would be marketed toward artists and families. The city support, which includes the sale of two plots of city land for $1 each, could be introduced to City Council this summer.

Last year, U. of C. announced plans to develop a major art and culture corridor along East Garfield Boulevard from South Prairie Avenue to South Martin Luther King Drive.

The arts and culture corridor will be a hub for individual artists and cultural organizations that represent under-resourced neighborhoods on the South Side and beyond. Additionally, the arts center will expand job readiness training and employment opportunities for local adults and youth.

The plan led by U. of C.’s Arts + Public Life initiative builds upon the university’s already existing Arts Incubator, 301 E. Garfield Boulevard, and Place Lab, Currency Exchange Café, 305 E. Garfield Boulevard, and BING Reading Room, 307 E. Garfield Boulevard.

In addition to the art residency and affordable housing, the university was also approved to develop a 97,000 square feet institutional project along the Midway Plaisance, a 180-room hotel that will be situated on the corner of 60th Street and Dorchester Avenue, and other projects such as the David M. Rubenstein Forum, the Keller Center, and the UChicago Charter School – Woodlawn expected to open in January 2018.