This article originally appeared on ChicagoTribune.com.
A $50 million office campus called The Terminal is coming to Chicago’s West Humboldt Park neighborhood as part of the city’s initiative to revitalize underserved communities.
City officials and developers broke ground Monday on the project, which is expected to create more than 200 jobs and will be redeveloped from a century-old, vacant warehouse complex behind a Menards and Aldi on North Avenue. The project is privately funded by billionaire Morningstar founder Joe Mansueto’s investment firm Mansueto Office, and developed by Chicago-based IBT Group.
“This is going to make a huge difference for this neighborhood because it’s going to create jobs. It’s going to draw long-term, sustainable change for the people who live around here,” said Andrea Zapp, CEO and president for World Business Chicago, a public-private partnership that serves as the city’s economic development arm.
The Terminal is part of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Invest South/West program, which aims to revitalize 10 underserved communities on the city’s South and West sides.
The city said it has invested more than $70 million of public resources in those neighborhoods and mobilized more than $300 million in private and philanthropic commitments since the creation of the program last year.
In August, the city announced the first three sites — Austin, Auburn Gresham and Englewood — it plans to develop under the program, which aims to distribute $750 million in existing city funds for redevelopment projects over the next three years.
In West Humboldt Park, IBT Group plans to redevelop three abandoned warehouses into a sprawling 250,000-square-foot “creative workspace” with high ceilings and wide windows. The developers hope to complete the project in the next couple of years.
Though no tenants have signed leases yet, IBT Group says it expects to have some office space ready by spring 2021.
The site was once the home to lighting and electrical equipment manufacturer Pyle-National Co. back in 1916, which built the lighting system that illuminates the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, Soldier Field and the Rose Bowl Stadium in California.
But over the years, the property remained vacant and the land unused.
Developers hope to attract startups and other businesses to The Terminal and foster growth in neighborhoods outside of the downtown area by offering a cheaper alternative with an open office space.
The city is working with World Business Chicago to help bring companies to the space, Chicago Deputy Mayor for Economic and Neighborhood Development Samir Mayekar said.