Consultants sought for Cermak Creative Industry District redevelopment

Spice Barrel District sketch, courtesy of NewCity

On Monday the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Department of Housing and Economic Development issued a request for qualifications for consultant teams to help redevelop the Near South Side’s Spice Barrel District and Cermak Road Historic Bridge District between Chinatown and Pilsen into a new Creative Industry District offering “affordable and sustainable spaces for a vibrant mix of creative businesses and work spaces for the arts.”

The proposal, which calls for the conversion of four industrial buildings into artist studios, galleries, workshops, and office space (but no residences, as far as I can tell), dates back several years, and will cost more than $100 million, covered through rent, private investment, and grants, such as the $250,000 grant the NEA awarded to the Department of Cultural Affairs last summer. NewCity profiled the initiative in a feature story last summer.

The city will hold an informational meeting on the redevelopment plan at 2 p.m. February 16, at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St.

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