DOWNTOWN — A Downtown architecture firm has been chosen to lead the revamp of the Chicago Housing Authority's Roosevelt Square, a massive mixed-income community on the Near West Side whose development was halted during the economic downturn.
Chicago-based Solomon Cordwell Buentz was picked by a CHA committee at a meeting Wednesday. Though the recommendation still needs to go before the CHA board of commissioners, the proposal is expected to pass, according to CHA spokesman Matt Aguilar.
The CHA released a Request For Proposals in March as part of a larger move to revitalize the 35-block development on the Near West Side and Oakwood Shores, a 94-acre property in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood. Both are a part of the Plan for Transformation, a 12-year-old overhaul of the city's public housing system.
If approved by the CHA, the architecture firm would be awarded a contract worth nearly $400,000 and would be responsible for holding several community meetings to get feedback from residents and neighborhood groups on how to move forward. Just 591 of the 2,441 units planned for the site have been built since 2002.
Solomon Cordwell Buentz has designed such projects as the Damen Student Center at Loyola University Chicago, the Crate and Barrel Flagship store and The Heritage at Millennium Park and did a Vision 2025 Plan for the Greater North Michigan Association.
The firm has already formed a team consisting of AREA, Fish Transportation Group, CCS International, Panacea Group LLC, and C & L Printing — companies that would receive a combined $88,000 slice of the architecture firm's contract if approved.
Dennis O'Neill, of Near West Side neighborhood group Connecting4Communities, praised the CHA's choice.
"It's the best team we could have hoped for to do Roosevelt Square," O'Neill said Wednesday.
The Chicago Housing Authority Board of Commissioners will make a final decision at an 8:30 a.m. Tuesday meeting at the Lorraine Hansberry Apartments, 5670 W. Lake St. The public session for that meeting begins at 9:30 a.m.