Esperanza Health Centers awarded with SPARCC capital grant by by Elevated Chicago for development of administrative headquarters

Esperanza Health Centers, a nationally recognized Federally Qualified Health Center that operates four primary care clinics on Chicago’s Southwest Side, has received a $100,000 capital grant and a $500,000 loan through Elevated Chicago, allowing Esperanza to complete a long-awaited build-out of its administrative headquarters adjacent to the Pink Line Western Ave. station in Marshall Square.

Both the grant and the loan were approved by Elevated Chicago, an equitable transit oriented development (eTOD) initiative launched in 2017 to support collaborative, community-led solutions to neighborhood displacement and inequities leveraging Chicago’s public transit system. The Strong Prosperous And Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC), a national initiative to advance equitable development in Atlanta, the Bay Area, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, and Memphis, is one of Elevated Chicago’s core funders and will be providing these two capital investments.

“Esperanza is profoundly grateful to Elevated Chicago for its partnership and support of this project,” said Dan Fulwiler, president and chief executive officer of Esperanza. “Having outgrown our previous administrative space near Douglass Park, we struggled to find a new location that would meet our physical needs while allowing us to remain in the neighborhood we serve. Thanks to the support of Elevated Chicago, Esperanza will now be able to customize 15,000 sq. ft. of vacant building space into a vibrant, modern headquarters for our more than 40 administrative employees, an exciting new chapter for Esperanza as it grows to become the largest provider of primary care services on the Southwest Side.

This project is part of the City of Chicago’s first-ever Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (eTOD) policy plan, which went public on September 14th. Collaboratively developed by Elevated Chicago, city departments, and leaders from community and citywide organizations like Esperanza, the policy plan aims to desegregate the city, build community wealth, combat climate change, and make Chicago healthier by better connecting train stations and bus routes with affordable housing, business incubators, job centers and other community assets.

Since 2017, Esperanza has been leasing temporary office space in the same building where the project will be completed early next spring. Located just one block between the CTA Pink Line and the Aurora Metra Western Ave. stations, the new headquarters will be perfectly situated for both visitors and commuters. It will also represent an important step in revitalizing an industrial stretch on Western Ave. that has struggled to attract investment and commitments for future development.

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