By Judy Levey
JCUA Executive Director
At an event known as the Oscars of community development in Chicago, two projects supported by JCUA won awards last week.
It was the 20th anniversary of the annual Community and Neighborhood Development Awards. Ten projects received awards acknowledging significant real estate developments, architecture, community organizing and individual achievements in a variety of areas.
Two of the projects were supported, in part, by zero-interest loans from JCUA’s Community Ventures Program. Landon Bone Baker Architects was the award-winning firm in both cases. Both of these projects won Richard H. Driehaus Foundation awards for architectural excellence.
Last year, JCUA assisted St. Leonard’s Ministries on the start-up of Gracie’s Café, a component of Harvest Commons which provides job training to formerly incarcerated people living in the building. The café, located at 1517 W. Warren Blvd., is now operating and adds to the vibrancy of the development and neighborhood.
The award last week recognized the architects for the high quality restoration of a landmark building, formerly the Viceroy Hotel, into comfortable affordable apartments (undertaken for Heartland Housing).
The Jackson at Woodlawn Park
In 2009, JCUA provided an early pre-development loan to the Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) for the redevelopment of the former Grove Parc apartments in Woodlawn. The loan was made to help get the wheels moving on what emerged into an enormous redevelopment project with ramifications for all of Woodlawn, supported by a HUD Choice Neighborhood award and many significant funding sources. Last week’s award was to the architects for their design and execution of replacement housing for the long-deteriorating buildings. The redevelopment is providing a new gateway to the Woodlawn community.
JCUA is proud to be associated with these landmark structures which increase opportunity and stability for hundreds of low income families in the Chicago area. Congratulations to Landon Bone Baker Architects, Heartland Housing, and POAH for this important recognition.