FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
CHICAGO – The Chicago Board of Education today approved an agreement to sell the former Stewart Elementary School site to Morningside Equities Group Inc. for $5,112,000. Following an extensive community engagement process to determine the property’s preferred use, the site will be redeveloped to incorporate residential housing, retail and restaurant space, a community plaza and playground.
“This is the fifth former school site we have sold in the past three months, which represents significant progress in our deliberate process to thoughtfully repurpose former school sites and direct those proceeds to classrooms,” said CPS CEO Claypool. “While we still have work to do, I am encouraged that the engagement process is working and expect this positive trend to continue.”
Following an extensive community engagement process guided by Ald. James Cappleman to determine the preferred uses for the former school site, CPS issued a bid solicitation in August seeking proposals to purchase and redevelop the property. CPS received four bids, and the highest bid, which exceeded the appraised value of $4-4.5 million, was submitted by Morningside. The bid approved today meets the community’s redevelopment criteria, which specifies that the site must be redeveloped to incorporate residential housing, retail and/or restaurant space, a community plaza or town square, and space for community programming including community gardens, space for a farmers market, community theater space, youth educational or recreational space, or job training. The agreement also requires Morningside to preserve the building’s unique and historical character and to seek landmark designation from the City’s Commission on Chicago Landmarks.
“We are thrilled to convert this space into a new community hub that will expand access to quality housing and commercial space in our community with the sale of this building,” said 46th Ward Ald. Cappelman. “We look forward to a redevelopment project that will preserve the history of the building, while expanding green space for use by the neighborhood.”
CPS is engaged in a multi-phase strategy outlined by the Mayoral Advisory Committee for School Repurposing and Community Development to repurpose former school sites in ways that will meet the needs of each surrounding community and enrich neighborhoods for years to come. Since the beginning of the process, CPS has repurposed or sold 11 former school sites. Four former school sites were immediately repurposed to meet the programmatic needs of the city, and CPS has reached agreements to sell seven other former school sites, including the sale authorized today.
A crucial component of the repurposing process is community engagement and input. The District continues to work with Aldermanic offices throughout the city as part of this process. The District is committed to repurposing all of its unused properties, and once preferred uses are determined by the community, the District will bring bid solicitations to the market.