Community leaders recently broke ground on a new Jewel-Osco coming to the northwest corner of 61st St. and S. Cottage Grove Ave. in Woodlawn. The 48,000 square foot store will provide quality food options to the neighborhood as well as a 24-hour pharmacy.
The development is a joint venture between Terraco and DL3 Realty which acquired the land from PreservatThe land was formerly occupied by the Grove Parc Plaza Apartments, a 504-unit Section 8 development that existed between 60th and 63rd streets on Cottage Grove Ave. In 2008, POAH took control of the apartments at the request of residents who were afraid the entire structure was going to be closed and they would lose their affordable housing. POAH took control of the land and the structure and slowly replaced the uninviting buildings with new affordable housing options on Cottage Grove Ave., according to POAH.
“This started with our acquisition of Grove Parc Plaza Apartments which was a three-block stretch of section 8 housing on Cottage Grove.We have seen Woodlawn as an opportunity to really do mixed-income community development without displacement. Our goal and what we are all about is preserving and repositioning for long-term affordable housing,” said William Eager, vice president of POAH.
POAH had been looking for a grocery store to occupy the space for several years, according to Eager. They were finally able to connect with a developer who worked with Jewel-Osco and knew they were looking to put a store on the south side.
“The key features of this project are that it is providing convenient access to healthy food, and we know that by doing that we can improve health outcomes, and it’s bringing 200 plus jobs which is very important for economic opportunity.
The store is committed to working with the community in terms of locally sourcing people for those jobs,” said Leon Walker, managing partner of DL3 Realty.
Change in a community can cause concerns for longtime residents, especially when big developers move into the area. Walker and Eager both said that they don’t see any changes coming to Woodlawn that will hurt current residents.
“If you look back at the history of Woodlawn, in 1960 there were 81,279 people living there and today there are about 25,000. While some people would look at the decline and think there is nothing good going on there we see it as an opportunity to do community development without displacement,” Walker agrees that there is plenty of room to redevelop Woodlawn without having a negative effect on current residents. The new Jewel-Osco is just one of the projects that
DL3 Realty is currently pursuing as an enhancement to the community.
\\To read a discussion paper describing how DL3 Realty thinks about deploying capital in urban markets, particularly in real estate projects located in communities often overlooked by private equity investors visit www.dl3realty.com/ venturedevelopment.