E.G. Woode, a collective of architects, designers, entrepreneurs and journeyman working together to enhance their businesses and community, celebrated the grand opening of its first property on Thursday, August 25. Located at 1122 West 63rd Street in Englewood, the fully renovated and reimagined building is home to entrepreneurs of color including Powell’s Barbershop; Marie|Wesley, a consignment shop; Momentum Coffee; and Beehyyve, a design firm offering co-working space for design and engineering professionals.
E.G. Woode acquired the property in 2019 and led the extensive design and construction work to completely rehab the 4,000 sq. ft. building into a tri-level retail and office space. The building includes many modern features and is uniquely tailored to meet each business’s unique needs. The exterior of the building also features an inviting outdoor garden and entertainment space.
E.G. Woode also announced that it was recently selected as a recipient of two major grants—one from the City of Chicago through the Chicago Recovery Plan, and the other a Rebuild Illinois Downtown and Main Streets Capital program grant. These grants will help fund the E.G. Woode Food Hub, which will house two sit-down restaurants—Ellie’s Urban Grill and Pass the Peas—as well as a training kitchen concept named “Englewood Kitchen.” The new property, located at 1022 W 63rd Street, is in predevelopment with design work underway.
Both E.G. Woode’s are within a target area for INVEST South/West – an urban revitalization strategy being implemented by Mayor Lightfoot that is guiding $1.4 billion in public and private investment within 10 West and South side community areas.
The E.G. Woode model is to serve as a real estate partner, working with entrepreneurs of color within the collective to develop their storefronts — and using the income generated from leasing and sales to reinvest in additional emerging businesses. E.G. Woode’s innovative approach reduces the risk, liability and scarcity of resources for minority-owned businesses in underserved communities.
Local leaders in attendance at the celebration included Alderwoman Stephanie Coleman (16th Ward), Chicago Department of Planning and Development Commissioner Maurice Cox, Teamwork Englewood Executive Director Cecile De Mello, LISC Chicago Executive Director Meghan Harte and Greater Englewood Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Felicia Slaton-Young.
“Support for the project in the neighborhood has been overwhelming and demand for us to do more has been strong with not only local support but also interest from the City of Chicago, philanthropic organizations and even traditional real estate and investment firms,” said Deon Lucas, architect and key partner of E.G. Woode. “We anticipate that our second project, the E. G. Woode Food Hub, will be equally as catalytic for further development in the area and provide momentum for E. G. Woode itself to continue to support entrepreneurs through the development of turnkey-ready properties.”
“This property will create impactful change in the Englewood community and will be a place where entrepreneurs will be proud to thrive,” said Alderwoman Stephanie Coleman, 16th Ward. “I am honored to celebrate the group of local architects, designers, entrepreneurs and journeymen who teamed up to create this hub for minority startups and spearhead economic development in Englewood.”
“E.G. Woode has helped me to turn my dream into a reality. They’ve been like a parental guide helping me every step of the way to grow my business in service to the Englewood community,” said Nanette Tucker, Owner of Marie|Wesley. “Now that I have a retail space to call home, I am working hard to really see my business grow.”
“E.G. Woode is an innovative model for sustainable, community-led economic development,” said Meghan Harte, Executive Director of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago. “At every level, there’s an opportunity. Not only is E.G. Woode a real estate project improving a key building on a vital commercial corridor, but it will keep rents affordable for local entrepreneurs and build and retain community wealth.”
Deon Lucas and E.G. Woode are among first developers/projects selected to be part of Yield Chicago – a partnership between LISC and Urban Land Institute Chicago. Yield brings together emerging BIPOC developers and seasoned real estate professionals who share best practices and work together to further actionable neighborhood-based commercial real estate projects.
Financing partners for the E.G. Woode property include: Pre-development and construction loans from LISC Chicago using capital invested by Benefit Chicago (a collaborative between the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, and the Calvert Foundation) and JPMorgan Chase through the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund; The City of Chicago, anonymous donors and many friends and supporters.
For more information, please visit www.egwoode.com.