NIA Architects

Vacant Chicago school will be converted to apartments, community center

June 23, 2023
The Woods Elementary School building in the Englewood neighborhood has been vacant since the district closed it 10 years ago.

A long-vacant school in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood is getting a $26.6 million overhaul.

Block Club Chicago reports that the City Council has approved plans for the Regenerator, a four-story project at the former Woods Elementary building.

The development will transform the vacant school closed in 2013 into 48 affordable one- to two-bedroom units, a 22,000-square-foot health center and a community center. 

The building will have 48 bicycle slots and two parking lots with 80 total spaces. A “small playground” and a “community gathering space” will be next to the residential parking lot.

The work to revitalize the former school and bring “a holistic set of projects alongside the Racine corridor” began a decade ago, said Rami Nashashibi, executive director at the Inner-City Muslim Action Network.

Of the 48 units:

  • Nine will be set aside for people earning 20% of the area median income (AMI)
  • Nine will be for people earning 30% of the AMI
  • Eight will be for people earning 50% of the AMI
  • 22 will be for people earning 60% of the AMI

The median income in Englewood is $22,127, according to developers. 

Developers will add a fourth floor to the three-story building and an elevator to make the space accessible for residents. The school’s gym will be converted into a community room and meeting space for neighbors, developers said. 

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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