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  • Harold Willig

Chicago to Spend Big to Revitalize Neighborhoods

Some major money is coming to Chicago’s South and West sides.

In October, Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot unveiled the INVEST program that will shift $750 million in public and private funds to 10 underinvested neighborhoods.

That money will come from $250 million in existing pools plus $500 million in already planned infrastructure improvements around transportation, housing and “quality of life” enhancements.

Maurice Cox, the city’s new planning commissioner, says he hopes to “unleash the private sector.”

And it’s already happening. The first corporate sponsor BMO Harris has committed $10 million to neighborhood investments. BMO’s donation “will be heavily concentrated on the Austin neighborhood,” the company says, to help execute a community revitalization plan.”

According to the city, the INVEST program will address 21st century needs involving “shopping, housing, culture, open space, live-work spaces, and viable, contemporary uses that build community cohesion.”

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