CHA launches new “Cabrini Now” planning initiative to renew and accelerate housing and economic development on the Near North Side

Apr 24, 2024
Cabrini Now logo

The Chicago Housing Authority is announcing the launch of “Cabrini Now,” a community-driven planning and design process to accelerate new mixed-income housing and economic development in the Near North neighborhood.

Cabrini Now builds on previous planning efforts, including the 2015 Development Zone Plan, to update and further the community’s vision for the neighborhood, and respond to current affordable housing needs in the area and across Chicago.

This effort is the first in a series of updated community planning initiatives that CHA will undertake to inform its long-term development strategy. A planning initiative around the State Street Corridor is scheduled to begin later this year.

CHA will host a Cabrini Now kickoff celebration from 5:30-7:30p.m., May 8 at Ogden-Jenner Elementary School on 1119 N. Cleveland Ave. The whole community is welcome to share their voice at this interactive event. The kickoff celebration will not only provide information about the planning process but will also invite community members to express their vision and priorities and share what they love most about living in Cabrini.

“Cabrini, like Chicago as a whole, has continued changing since 2015. How the neighborhood looks and feels is fundamentally shifting with rising housing costs and significant new developments like the Bally’s casino, Lincoln Yards and North Union,” said CHA CEO Tracey Scott. “CHA recognizes that it’s critically important for us to hear from community residents throughout this process. That’s why we’re taking an inclusive approach to amplify diverse voices and aspirations and ensure that the resulting vision and plan is a true reflection of the entire community’s wants and needs.”

“By proactively updating our plans for our large sites, we are laying the groundwork for more affordable housing construction,” Scott said.

The Cabrini Now kickoff celebration is the first of multiple public engagement meetings that will take place during the planning process. CHA has already begun to consult with key stakeholders in addition to CHA residents. The engagement process is designed to be equitable and family-friendly with people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds encouraged to participate. The kickoff celebration and future engagement meetings will include specific opportunities for children and youth to contribute their views too.

Cabrini Now will create development concepts for specific sites and for the remaining CHA land in the Cabrini neighborhood and development concepts for specific sites, including the vacant Cabrini Row Homes. The plan is expected to be released by the end of 2024.

Cabrini Now goals include:

  • Update and build on the existing 2015 community plans and vision in a changing neighborhood context.
  • Respond to the current and future affordable housing needs of the neighborhood and Chicago.
  • Embrace all voices in the neighborhood and co-create a shared vision for Cabrini’s future.

CHA has retained planning and architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz to lead this process. The project team will recommend an updated plan for Cabrini using the latest principles for building complete communities such as the 15-minute city concept popularized in Paris, as well as lessons learned in recent decades of community planning in Chicago.

Since 2005, CHA’s investments have resulted in more than 3,500 new homes in Cabrini, including almost 1,000 CHA-subsidized apartments. In addition to the Cabrini Now planning efforts, CHA also has three active development initiatives in the area:

  • Oak & Larrabee (78 total homes, including 37 public housing units and 17 affordable rental units)
  • Parkside 5 (99 total homes, including 37 public housing units and 28 affordable rental units)
  • Clybourn & Larrabee (first phase under detailed design and development)

More information about Cabrini Now is available at