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CHICAGO-Circle Urban Ministries, Inc. and Rock of Our Salvation Evangelical Free Church will embark on a $4-million redevelopment of two corners at Central Avenue and Washington Boulevard in the Austin neighborhood. The major portion of the six-building project is at the northwest corner of the intersection, while a smaller parcel is across Central Avenue at the northeast corner.

A major component of the redevelopment project is a 300-seat restaurant, which would be built out in a building already at the northeast corner of Central and Washington. Sit-down restaurants have been long sought by city planners for the neighborhood, which they say lacks family-oriented eateries.

“This will add value not only to my ward, but the entire West Side of Chicago,” says 29th Ward Alderman Isaac Carothers. “A project such as this will make a difference in the quality of life in my ward, as well as the entire West Side.”

A four-story building at 115 N. Parkside with a clinic on the first floor and 13 multifamily units above would be renovated along with a three-story building that includes an 1,100-seat auditorium.

Circle Urban Ministries, Inc. and Rock of Our Salvation Evangelical Free Church operate a three-story elementary school that serves 200 students. A nine-unit multifamily building is also available for interns and volunteers.

The city’s plan commission recently recommended approval of institutional planned development zoning for the project at 100-42 and 101-15 N. Central Ave., 101-25 N. Parkside Ave., as well as 5530-36 and 5600-36 W. Washington Blvd.

The project is being financed privately, primarily through donations, attorney John George indicates. “A substantial sum of money has been raised and is now in place for this project to go forward,” George says.

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