The Cultivate Collective is launching a net-positive energy national demonstration site and developing a collective of communities rooted in our model to enable large-scale, systemic impact for driving the future of resilient, equitable and vital communities from within.
Building upon seventeen years of deep collaboration with community leaders, neighborhood voices and local constituents, community-based collaborators are working hand-in-hand to revitalize six currently vacant acres of a former low-income housing project into a thriving community hub.
This shovel-ready, $60 million investment is on track to break ground in April of 2022 and will generate greatly needed economic and community development to the city’s under-resourced southwest side.
Our center for community learning and wellness will catalyze surrounding development and will directly generate 1,000 union and green jobs throughout the course of construction, and 125 permanent positions, in addition to providing skills training and apprenticeships leading to long-term local employment outcomes.
Who We Are
Learn more about our community-led journey through this three-minute video:
The Cultivate Chicago demonstration site provides a scalable model for replication through our Cultivate Collective network of communities. The Cultivate model provides comprehensive local economic and community impacts, including community wealth generation, job creation, equity, environmental sustainability, fresh food access, health care and education.
The Cultivate Collective's demonstration site is a six-acre development that will serve as a catalyst for the neighboring 34 vacant acres and future mixed-income housing development, all of which are located on the former LeClaire Courts Chicago Housing Authority site. The hub will include comprehensive community facilities, resources and programming, including a health center, fresh foods store and café, teaching kitchens, community gardens, wellness facilities, neighborhood walking trails and green spaces, a three-acre urban farm and opportunities for social enterprise development. A Head Start early childhood center and K-8 public school will also be housed on-site, enabling a cradle-to-college pipeline that is fundamental to the Purpose Built Communities model of ending intergenerational poverty.
On track to achieve net-positive energy and the first in Illinois to meet the most robust environmental standards in the world, the six-acre hub will generate 105% of its own energy and a week's worth of climate resiliency.
Health & Wellness
From a community health care center, food as medicine program and food pharmacy, to three acres of urban agriculture produced for the on-site neighborhood fresh foods market and café, a range of programming and services will create a hub for community wellness.
Comprehensive resources, programming and educational opportunities will be available for learners of all ages, starting with an Early Childhood Center and continuing with an innovative public elementary school, the Academy for Global Citizenship.
In addition to creating 1,000 union jobs, 10% apprenticeships and over 125 permanent positions, we will serve as a hub for teaching social entrepreneurship, incubating social enterprises, spurring economic development and producing green jobs.
"Our strength as a Nation and our ability to responsibly shape our future depends on tackling childhood obesity, and I am inspired by the work you are all doing to help realize the promise of a brighter, healthier tomorrow for our children."
Former First Lady Michelle Obama
"I am so thrilled that we are launching this new learning hub, which will do so much for communities in Southwest Chicago, not to mention serve as a model for other communities here at home and beyond our state."
Mayor Lori Lightfoot
“This project is a concrete example of what innovation looks like."
Commissioner Maurice Cox
“This visionary project will be a catalyst for additional development as part of the Gateway to Midway initiative. This area of the southwest side has long suffered from systemic under investment and we are working to correct that. Our neighborhoods have been identified by the USDA’s Economic Research Service and the Chicago Health Atlas as being medically underserved, having limited access to grocery stores and higher food insecurity rates. I am proud to support the Cultivate Collective in their work to correct these alarming disparities through their innovative approach to educating the whole child, family and community through wellness, nutrition and agricultural programming in addition to their commitment to being a collaborative partner in the community.”