75th Street Boardwalk on Restaurant Row Among 2021 Chicago Neighborhood Development Award Winners.

LISC Chicago has announced the winners of the 2021 Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards (CNDA), which were held on Thursday, June 3, via a hybrid virtual and in-person event, with opportunities to join small, outdoor, virtual watch parties across the city. The awards honor top community development projects and architectural achievements across the city and featured Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, award-winning architect Juan Moreno and other special guests, with entertainment by DJ Lady D and Chicago’s House-O-Matics Footwork Crew. Winners included numerous community development projects that helped to invest in the economic and social vitality of neighborhoods including Albany Park, Brighton Park, Bronzeville, Chatham, Douglas, Lakeview, South Chicago, Uptown, and more.

“This celebration recognizes 27 years of Chicago’s people investing in their neighborhoods and building more equitable communities,” said Meghan Harte, Executive Director of LISC Chicago. “We’re proud we could celebrate in a way that brought people together after a long year apart, awarded the brilliance and creativity of Chicagoans who have done exemplary work, and honored the togetherness that makes Chicago great.”

Established in 1995, CNDA was created to celebrate Chicago’s neighborhoods, the best community development projects, and the community and for-profit organizations behind them. In its 27th year, CNDA is the largest and most venerated celebration of the creativity and accomplishments that transform neighborhoods across the city. Each year, the event is attended by more than 1,500 community development professionals and leaders.

The 2021 CNDA winners include:

  • Chicago Community Trust Outstanding Community Plan Award: Claretian Associates for the We’re Steel Here! plan for South Chicago.
  • The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Outstanding Non-Profit Real Estate Development Award: Esperanza Brighton Park
  • The Outstanding For Profit Real Estate Development Award: 4400 Grove – Michaels Development and Brinshore
  • The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Healthy Community Award: The Firebird Arts for Project FIRE
  • The Polk Bros. Foundation Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Award: Mercy Housing Lakefront for The Miriam Apartments Preservation Project
  • The Woods Fund Chicago Power of Community Award: #CopsOutCPS
  • The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Creative Placemaking Award: Greater Chatham Initiative for the 75th Street Boardwalk on Restaurant Row
  • The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design:
    • 1st place: STL Architects for Williams Park Fieldhouse
    • 2nd place: HED, JGMA, bKL, and Farr Associates for Lathrop
    • 3rd place: Canopy/Architecture + Design for Oso Apartments
  • The Richard M. Daley Friend of the Neighborhoods Award: Cook County Land Bank Authority
  • The CIBC Emerging Leader Award: Jason Estremera, Executive Director of the Northwest Side Community Development Corporation

This year’s sponsors include The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, CIBC, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, The Polk Bros. Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, The Woods Fund Chicago, PNC Bank, Wintrust Community Bank, BMO Harris Bank, State Farm Insurance, JPMorgan Chase, US Bank, Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen, Clayco, Comcast, and many more.

An in-person event for a small audience of winners and sponsors was held at the Salud Center in South Chicago. Additionally, watch parties were also held, all of which followed COVID-19 precautions, at the historic Lathrop community (2000 W. Diversey Pkwy) and the 75th Street Boardwalk (East 75th Street & South Prairie Avenue).

The program can be viewed at http://cnda27.here.live/.

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