CHICAGO, IL (February 9, 2009) – While celebrating its most famous community organizer rising to the presidency, Chicago’s community development community celebrated its present and future Monday at the Hyatt Regency Chicago (151 East Wacker Drive) with the 15th Annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards, recognizing the community leaders, architects, businesses, government leaders, foundations and community development organizations that keep Chicago’s neighborhoods vibrant and strong.
Created by LISC/Chicago and now attracting nearly 1,400 leaders each year, CNDA is the nation’s largest awards program dedicated to neighborhood-based development.
A total of ten awards were given out: seven for various aspects of community development leadership (recognizing programs, projects and individuals) and three sponsored by the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation for Architectural Excellence in Community Design. Many of the awards were accompanied by monetary gifts, ranging from $2,000 to $20,000.
Before the ceremony, attendees had the opportunity to see themselves and their work from a lighter perspective with a performance by the renowned The Second City ensemble.
“The ceremony and the attendees represent not just the importance of community development work in Chicago, but the diversity and strength of the partnerships that make our neighborhoods work so well,” said John A. Canning, Jr., Chairman of Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC and Chair of this year’s event. “The programs, projects and people honored this year are models for all of Chicago and the nation.”
This year’s winners are:
The Chicago Community Trust Outstanding Community Strategy of the Year ($20,000):
The Cara Program - While many of The Cara Program’s elements are active throughout the city, the layered services in the Quad Communities area have been especially effective in transforming lives and, by extension, neighborhoods. Cleanslate, whose interns can be seen beautifying the streets one block at a time throughout the Quad Communities, helps individuals with significant barriers to employment, including those with histories of incarceration and homelessness, get work experience and job training. The Center for Working Families provides essential services like career, employment and one-on-one financial counseling and benefits access. And through the Career Pathways Initiative, in partnership with the University of Chicago and the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, 97 neighborhood residents have found permanent jobs at the University in the initiative’s first 12 months.
The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Outstanding Non-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project ($15,000):
SOS Children’s Villages Lavezzorio Community Center - SOS Children’s Villages, an international organization best known for its creation of homes for children without parental care and children of families in difficult circumstances, added the handsome Lavezzorio Community Center to the Villages’ twelve single-family homes and four duplexes in order to make its complex serve not only residents of the Village, but also members of the surrounding community. The inviting, colorful facility offers case management and counseling services as well as child care, after-school care programs, a computer laboratory and job training assistance to those who live in the Children’s Village and all of Auburn Gresham.
The Polk Bros. Foundation Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Award ($15,000):
Ehresman Management for the Lawndale Restoration project – Ehresman Management worked with all stakeholders – government agencies, funders and community members – on preserving 153 units of affordable rental housing in 5 buildings in North Lawndale to ensure that buildings were completed quickly, efficiently and with the input of those most affected by the changes. By hiring local workers whenever possible, including teens for summer internships and holding community meetings before construction even began, residents were an integral part of the process.
The Outstanding For-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project Award:
DL3 Realty, L.P. for the Roseland Medical Center – This 27,000 square foot medical office building houses the Roseland Community Hospital’s outpatient care; Chicago Family Health, a non-profit health care provider; Fresenius Medical Care, the world’s largest provider of outpatient dialysis services; and greatly needed ground-floor retail space. The Center meets a community need and has also generated revitalization activity throughout the broader Roseland area.
Special Recognition Award ($5,000)
The United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) – Part of a grand tradition of immigrant groups that has made Chicago the vibrant and diverse city it is today, The United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) began organizing communities around key quality of life issues in 1984. It has since grown to become one of Chicago’s strongest and most effective community organizations, employing grassroots leadership and the involvement of community residents to lead the way in advocacy and policy on a wide range of issues affecting the Hispanic community that is its base.
Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, First Place ($15,000):
Studio Gang Architects for SOS Children’s Villages Lavezzorio Community Center – In a striking building both inside and out, Studio Gang Architects has created spaces that are equally open and inviting and also safe and secure, reflecting the organization’s focus on fostering stability and growth in its residents and the community. Many of the building’s bright, airy spaces have multiple uses, providing SOS with the flexibility to serve the needs of it residents and the surrounding community alike.
Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, Second Place ($3,000):
LCM Architects, LLC for Access Living Headquarters – The bright atrium of Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago’s new headquarters embodies the group’s mission and philosophy of integration, access, openness and integrity. With myriad features that make the spaces and their functions visible, audible, chemically neutral and easy to navigate for people of all statures and levels of mobility, the building follows the principles of universal design by allowing easy accessibility for all users. From large elevators with plenty of room for multiple wheelchairs to smooth floors and lighting helpful to those with limited vision, the design details make the building easy and intuitive to use, regardless of an individual’s ability.
Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, 3rd Place ($2,000):
Kennedy King Architects, LLC for the new Kennedy King College – The new 40-acre Kennedy King College campus, designed by Kennedy King Architects, LLC, a partnership of Johnson & Lee, Ltd. and VOA Associates Incorporated, provides an element often lacking in urban colleges: a language of buildings with a dignity that reflects the seriousness of purpose inherent in the institution. In addition to state-of-the-art facilities that will make it a model for urban universities, the campus brings to the Englewood community a bookstore, graphic services and day care center that are open to the general public, as well as the elegant, student-run Sikia Restaurant, the first full-service restaurant in Englewood in decades.
The Norman Bobins Leadership Award ($20,000)
Rami Nashashibi, Executive Director, Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) – As a founder and now Executive Director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), Nashashibi has been a tireless force in Chicago Lawn and beyond. Firmly rooted in his faith and the Islamic values of brotherhood, service, charity and faith, his work includes direct services like health care at IMAN’s free Health Clinic, arts and culture programming and events, and statewide organizing and advocacy on issues like criminal justice and human rights.
The Friend of the Neighborhoods Award:
Valerie B. Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison – Jarrett’s work as an attorney, a deputy chief of staff, the Commissioner of Planning and Development, Chairman of the CTA and CEO of The Habitat Company has touched virtually every community in Chicago. With her leadership as a member of numerous boards, including both the Chicago and National LISC boards, the University of Chicago and the Chicago Stock Exchange, it is no surprise that her guiding hand has helped the nation elect our first Chicago-rooted, community organizing President.
Nearly 50 applications representing a wide range of community organizations and development efforts were submitted for the four CNDA awards. Each application was assigned to a team of three or four judges who reviewed the application and visited the facility or project. Thirty-eight volunteer judges from the non-profit and for-profit sectors participated. Judges rated applicants on development process or organizational effectiveness, community impact and project or organizational challenge. The Awards Committee reviewed all of the applications and judges’ score sheets and discussed the merits of each application in detail.
Applications were taken separately for the three Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Architectural Excellence in Community Design. A Driehaus jury of 12 volunteers evaluated 18 applications and conducted site reviews of the 10 finalists. Their decisions were based on the quality of a project’s design within the constraints imposed by funding and regulatory agencies, the project’s contribution to the comprehensive development of the community, and the extent to which the project can be viewed as a model of design for developments in other neighborhoods.
“The projects being honored today have already improved the quality of life of our residents and helped to spur future development in our communities,” said Mayor Richard M. Daley, in regards to this year’s awards. “They are perfect examples of how partners working together can help rebuild and revitalize a neighborhood – store by store and block by block – so that the lives of all Chicagoans are improved.”
The Awards Ceremony was preceded by a performance by Chicago’s famed The Second City comedy troupe.
The principal sponsors for this year’s awards include: Apollo Housing Capital/RBC Capital Markets; Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen, P.C.; Bank of America; Brinshore Development; Camiros, Ltd.; Charter One; Chase; Chicago Bears; Chicago Community Loan Fund; The Chicago Community Trust; Citibank; Cole Taylor Bank; Community Investment Corporation; Coniston Consulting; Enterprise Community Investment, Inc.; Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago; The Habitat Company; Harris; Holsten Real Estate; Illinois Housing Development Authority; LISC /Chicago; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Matanky Realty Group; MB Financial Bank; Miner, Barnhill & Galland; National City; National Equity Fund; Northern Trust; Park National Bank; Peoples Gas; Private Bank; Related Midwest; Reznick Group; The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; S.B. Friedman & Company; ShoreBank; State Farm Insurance; Urban Development Fund, LLC; US Bank; and The Walsh Group.
Established in 1995, CNDA recognizes outstanding achievements in neighborhood real estate development and community building, especially the achievements of community development corporations, other community-based organizations and for-profit developers working to build healthier neighborhoods in the Chicago metropolitan area. LISC/Chicago is proud to organize the work of volunteers, judges and sponsors that in partnership produces CNDA each year.
Note: Photos of the event are available at the following websites.
Suggested caption: John A. Canning, Jr. of Madison Dearborn Partners chaired the 15th Annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards, which welcomed a record number of 1300 lenders, architects, real estate agents and philanthropic and business leaders.
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