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The United Yards team will be hosting two community meetings to provide a detailed overview of the project and receive community input. The first meeting will be held on November 30th at 6pm and will be fully virtual. The second meeting will be held on December 7th at 6pm and will be an in-person + hybrid meeting held at Hamline School. In advance of the meetings, please familiarize your self with the project by viewing the information on the "overview” tab. Your voice matters to us—ask questions and provide us with your thoughts on the proposed plan.
Questions and feedback will be addressed at both meetings and should be submitted in advance. The cutoff time for receiving questions and feedback for the November 30th meeting is 11:59pm November 29th.

Welcome to United Yards!

Our Solution

INVEST South/West

INVEST South is an unprecedented community improvement initiative under Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot to marshal the resources of multiple City departments, community organizations, and corporate and philanthropic partners toward 12 commercial corridors within 10 communities on Chicago's South and West Sides. One of these targeted neighborhoods is the Back of the Yards that lies within the City’s Priority Corridor (New City)

INVEST South/West aims is to re-activate neighborhood cores that have historically served as focal points for pedestrian activity, shopping, services, transportation, public spaces and quality-of life amenities for local residents. In Back of the Yards, the priority focus is the intersection of 47th Street and Ashland Avenue and adjacent blocks.

Our Vision

The United Yards Team is comprised of Celadon Partners, a Chicago-based, experienced affordable housing developer, The Blackwood Group, a Latino-owned and -led general contractor and developer from Chicago, and Back of the Yards Works, a local minority-owned business consortium and developer leading the commercial development of the property. DesignBridge, a Latino-owned architecture firm from Chicago, is leading the design team.

The United Yards team has been enhanced by the addition of Back of the Yards Works, a Back of the Yards-based cooperative of small businesses. Back of the Yards Works was also proposed for the INVEST South/West RFP and has become an invaluable element of the redevelopment team. Back of the Yards Works brings hyperlocal flavor and expertise and is leading the development of the commercial/retail components of United Yards featuring locally-owned Latinx and woman owned small businesses, including Back of the Yards Coffee, La Selva, and many more!

We envision an immediate corridor activation, that might otherwise take decades to develop and revitalize this once-thriving corridor.  United Yards plans to restore an iconic landmark gateway that will be a source of community identity and pride. Most importantly we plan to expand the Ashland Avenue linchpin that binds together the social fabric of the North, South, East and West sides of Back of the Yards with local leadership and residents managing community space, owning the small businesses, and living in the new homes.

Our Plan

United Yards will be developed in three components:

  • United Yards IA is a residential development comprised of 51 affordable rental homes in a midrise building at Justine and 47th and two three-flat buildings at Marshfield and 47th. The Justine Building will feature a 6,000 square foot Opportunity Hub that will bring early exposure, skills development, living wage job placement, and entrepreneurship support programming to the community.
  • United Yards IB is a retail and commercial development featuring over 30,000 square feet of commercial and programming space. The project will be centered in the ground floor space of the historic Goldblatts building at 47th and Ashland with a new facility to be built at Marshfield and 47th (link to rendering). The project will feature five to seven locally-owned small businesses as a part of Back of the Yards Works. The development will also feature a federally-qualified health center (FQHC) and significant community space.
  • United Yards IC is a mixed development based within the “Rainbow Building” at 47th and Ashland. The historic renovation of the old building will allow for the existing store to be maintained on the ground floor with additional residential space to be included on the upper floors.

The United Yards team is working quickly through the redevelopment process with the goal of moving forward all three elements of the project by the end of 2023. Community meetings will continue to be hosted in the Back of the Yards community in coordination with the 20th Ward office and the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development. Throughout the process our design and development team has incorporated the input of the community into the programming, design, affordability, and tenancy of the properties. We value the input of these stakeholders as it has allowed the project’s planned appearance and operations to truly reflect the needs and desires of the Back of the Yards community.

Our Timeline
United Yards is fully committed to beginning construction on IA and IB in early 2023. The United Yards team will be participating in several community meetings that will be announced on this site, the 20th Ward website, and through our local partners in the coming weeks. Please check back soon for more details on upcoming meetings for an opportunity to discuss the project, learn more about the plans and schedule, and provide input to members of the team. In the meantime, we encourage you to ask questions and/or offer comments to the team in advance by clicking the link here. All submissions will be reviewed by the United Yards team and will be responded to in the coming weeks at the community meetings. SEND A QUESTION OR A COMMENT TO THE TEAM

Our Team

Our Vision

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