“For those of us in Bronzeville, the Shops and Lofts at 47 are of immense importance,” said Ald. Will Burns (4th Ward) of the Bronzeville area. “It signals an important success for those who have toiled for decades to recreate Bronzeville as the great commercial and cultural hub of Chicago’s South Side that it was—and can be again.”
This $46.5 million project earmarks the first commercial and residential development in Bronzeville in over 50 years. Upon its completion, Shops and Lofts will become the home to 96 mixed-income individuals and families. Commercially, it will include a 55,000-square-foot area operated by Ohio-based Skilken and TROY Enterprises that plans to attract “high-quality retailers,” according to Frank Petruziello, president of Silken. It will also include a 41,000-square-foot Walmart Neighborhood Market grocery store.
The project was first conceived by Quad Communities Development Corporation (QCDC), which met TROY Enterprises and Skilken at the 2006 international shopping center convention in Las Vegas. QCDC has long considered the project a “needed and critical anchor” for the redevelopment of Grand Boulevard and Bronzeville’s historic community, according to a press release.
The 2008 financial collapse required some adjustments to the plan and led to the involvement of The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB). In 2012, Walmart Neighborhood Market became the anchor tenant and the project proceeded.
“Neighborhoods are the fabric of Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “Communities need anchors… I will continue to work in Bronzeville and throughout the city’s neighborhoods to find innovative, exciting projects that will allow a better quality of life for all Chicagoans and their families.”
Bronzeville is one of seven neighborhoods in the Mayor’s “Chicago Neighborhoods Now” plan that has reserved $330 million in public funds and seeks $2.6 billion in private funding for economic development, housing, and quality-of-life improvements. Other areas include Englewood, Rogers Park, Uptown, Little Village, Pullman and the Eisenhower Corridor.