CDC Approves TIF for Aspire Center
The Community Development Commission has approved $7.25 million in TIF funding for the proposed Aspire Center. Located at 5500 W. Madison, the project looks to reuse the former Robert Emmet Public School that stands at the corner of W. Madison St and N. Central Ave. Developed by Austin Coming Together and Westside Health Authority, the now-vacant school was closed in 2015 and was purchased from Chicago Public Schools in 2018.
Designed by Lamar Johnson Collaborative, The Aspire Center for Workforce Innovation will renovate the school, restoring the existing classrooms into functional spaces that meet current workforce development and training needs – from advanced manufacturing to small business incubation. The 76,500 square-foot project will see the construction of a new three-story addition that will become the new entry to the building, with a restaurant and bank also planned for the project.
The open space at the corner of the property will be turned into a POP!Courts plaza space in the interim, while a future retail building will come in a second phase. The temporary plaza will include a turf field, workout space, and outdoor yoga area.
Expected to cost approximately $28 million, the project will be financed with $6.1 million in equity, $4.5 million in New Market Tax Credits, $10 million in state funding, $7.25 million in requested TIF funding, and $100,000 in additional capital.
With approval from the Community Development Commission, the developers will now seek approval from the City Council for the TIF funding. A timeline for the construction of the project is currently unknown.
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