Englewood Connect, an incubator for small businesses and entrepreneurs in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, will expand upon recent neighborhood investments to create a local commerce and culinary ecosystem, greater connectivity and pedestrian access, and flexible public spaces. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and TnS Studio are designing the project.
The project is designed to elevate Englewood residents through a mixed-use, phased development strategy focused around a flexible public space called the Green Street Commons. A proposed pavilion with operable windows and doors, dubbed The Englewood Living Room, will be open year-round, allowing for markets, co-working spaces, exhibitions, and places for the community to gather and engage with one another.
“We envision a dynamic mix of community spaces, accessible to all local residents and connected to the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Dawveed Scully, Urban Planning Associate Director, SOM, in a release. “With flexible spaces that can be used year-round, our plan creates an ecosystem that cultivates upward mobility anchored by entrepreneurialism.”
The design also restores the landmark “castle” Firehouse station, one of Englewood’s historic assets. The 1929 building will be transformed into a multi-purpose venue tailored to the community’s needs. The space will connect nearby amenities to the site and create a platform for small business growth.
Englewood Connect's portfolio centers around community growth and enhancing underutilized spaces, with work in Englewood ranging from design collaborations with students and local construction opportunities, to small business expansion.