Taylor Street Apartments and Little Italy Branch Library garner national award

Jun 24, 2019

Press contacts:
Office of Communications – Chicago Housing Authority
Molly Sullivan: (312) 786-3344; msullivan@thecha.org
Matthew Aguilar: (312) 935-2646; maguilar@thecha.org

CHICAGO (June 24, 2019) - The Taylor Street Apartments and Little Italy Branch Library development has been honored as Project of the Year by Smart Growth America/LOCUS Leadership Awards.

The award was announced Sunday at the Smart Growth America LOCUS Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., giving this innovative development and partnership a well- deserved national spotlight.

Since 2012, the LOCUS Leadership Awards have honored real estate developers and investors, companies, and projects who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to public leadership, triple-bottom-line development, and smart growth. This year, LOCUS reported it received a record number of nominations for the 2019 LOCUS Leadership Awards.

“We are grateful for this award because it recognizes not only this innovative building and development but CHA’s partnership with Chicago Public Library,” said CHA CEO Eugene E. Jones, Jr. “We knew when we embarked on this unique project and partnership that we were building more than a new building – we were creating a community anchor and asset that will have a lasting impact on residents and this Near West Side neighborhood.”

The Taylor Street Apartments and Little Italy Branch Library on the Near West Side are located at 1336 W. Taylor Street.

The single-level library has natural light and an open floor plan with a children’s area and YOUmedia space.

The Taylor Street Apartments above the library will include a total of 73 apartments, including 37 CHA units, 29 affordable units and seven market rate units. The branch was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) and constructed through a partnership with CHA, Related Midwest, and The Bowa Construction Group serving as the General Contractor.

Each branch will offer additional programs and services to meet the residents they serve. All three new library locations will offer an Early Learning Play Space, designed to support parents and caregivers in developing their child’s early literacy skills through play; a YOUmedia space for teens to explore digital design, music and recording, technology, 3D and 2D making and more with the help of skilled mentors; and dedicated workforce development support and technology tutors called CyberNavigators for adults hoping to learn basic computer skills or apply for a job online.

CPL will continue to partner with expert workforce organizations to deliver trainings on additional skills, such as resume writing, interview prep and industry-specific skills. The new branches will also have traditional library programs, such as book clubs for seniors and intergenerational educational and cultural programming.

“This award recognizes our commitment to providing world- class library services for learners of all ages and supporting communities through partnerships that deliver what our patrons and neighborhoods need,” said Chicago Public Library Commissioner Andrea Telli.

The three co-located housing and library developments were designed by three of the city’s top architecture and design firms which were selected following a design competition sponsored by the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development.