WASHINGTON PARK — Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to introduce a new ordinance Wednesday that would pave the way for a city-owned vacant lot at Garfield Boulevard and Prairie Avenue to be used for green space.
The ordinance would authorize a lease agreement between the city and Theaster Gates Group LLC giving the artist's group full use of the lot at 265 E. Garfield Blvd. for $1 until Dec. 31, 2017.
In a statement, the mayor said the empty space would be put to good use for the community.
"This agreement will combine both the talents of a world-renowned artist with the opportunity to promote community engagement in the Washington Park neighborhood," Emanuel said. "It is another step toward ensuring that all Chicagoans have access to world-class parks and open green spaces."
Gates also spearheaded the opening last year of University of Chicago's Arts Incubator, just down the street from the green space at 301 E. Garfield Blvd.
The Chicago-based design company will landscape the lot, which will then be available to area residents as open space, according to the mayor's office. Additionally, the Theaster Gates Group will be responsible for maintenance, security and payment of any utilities.
Gates could not immediately be reached for comment.