CHICAGO (CBS) — The Morning Insiders break news.
And it’s good news for a South Chicago neighborhood. It’s about to get a $20 million shot in the arm, thanks to an investment from Fifth Third Bank.
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The bank will actually be pouring $180 million into nine neighborhoods across the nation. CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas takes us to the South Side to see the very spots about to be spruced up.
Crumbled concrete and broken, boarded up windows. It’s a vacant eyesore that has long frustrated neighbors near 92nd and Burley.
“It’s very depressing to see that. No one wants to live somewhere where it’s very desolate and abandoned.” said Lakesha Winners.
“These will be demolished.”
But Angela Hurlock said in a few years, that blighted block will be an affordable housing development. There will be 82 unit anchored by a 6,000 square-foot grocery store. Hurlock’s nonprofit Claretian Associates is bringing that plan to life in South Chicago.
“A lot of people have thought we’re just a dying community. Well, we’re not. We’re still here,” Hurlock said. “And these projects are truly important because we’re a thriving community. We want people to be able to live here and thrive here.”
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It’s funded by Fifth Third Bank, which also partnered with Claretian to map out eight other developments along 91st and 92nd street, from Commercial Avenue to Harbor. It’s all part of a $20 million plan to redevelop the South Chicago neighborhood over the next three to five years.
“And that comes through not only philanthropy dollars but business loans, homeowner loans, those types of things to help really build up the different components of our community,” Hurlock said.
She said the project will also beautify the neighborhood, add public outdoor spaces and transform a vacant building into a café at 92nd and Brandon. Hurlock expects the investments to spark more developments and help revamp a neighborhood that’s struggled with crime and blight.
“I told you I’ve been waiting on this project for a long time.”
Lakesha Winners lives about a block away from the planned grocery store.
“It’ll be an overwhelming feeling because it’s something that this neighborhood really needs,” Winners said.
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She hopes it’s the start of South Chicago’s comeback story. The official announcement is coming in a few hours, but count on CBS 2 to bring you news first.