From the CEO
The year great plans took root
Welcome to the 2023 End of Year Special Edition of The Catalyst! This year was one for the books, as we cut the ribbon on new developments and crafted new plans that will shape the future of the IMD for years to come. I encourage you to read through this issue to learn more about this year in IMD history, but first here’s some updates about what we’ve been working on the past couple months.
The IMD Commission team continues to grow and in October we welcomed Corey Stringer as our new Operations Manager. Corey joins Chris Fahey to assist with leading our growing Real Estate Operations department, so if you see a new face around your building, please give him a warm IMD welcome!
We kicked off the fall with our second All Council Happy Hour on October 19. Council members enjoyed drinks from H Bar and sweet treats from Crockett Cookies. It was great seeing everyone face-to-face one last time before the end of the year, and we’re already hard at work planning council events for next year. A few days later on October 22, I was proud to participate in the second annual Chicago Lighthouse Rise to Shine Run and Walk. This inclusive fitness event welcomed over 400 participants to the streets of the IMD to compete for medals and showcase the best of what makes the IMD a caring community. Keep an eye out for information about the next run and walk in the new year.
On November 3, we were proud to join many of our stakeholders exhibiting at the 2023 American Diabetes Association State of Diabetes event at Malcolm X College, where I was also spoke on a panel with other healthcare leaders focused on improving the health of our communities most impacted by this disease. And on November 8, I was honored to be a panelist at the 2023 Loyola Parkinson Health Equity Quest to discuss how IMD healthcare organizations can reduce their carbon footprint to improve the environment of the communities we serve.
Looking back on 2023, I’m proud of what our team and our partners have been able to deliver for the IMD this year — from new developments to new tenants, new team members, new events and so much more. In large and small ways, the IMD is evolving into a community that will continue to anchor this critical zone for the City of Chicago and attract new investment that will shape its future. When assembling this end of year issue, it became clear that we planted a lot of seeds literally and figuratively this year that will continue to yield positive results for the IMD community for generations. We’ll have much more to share in early 2024 about everything from our Bike and Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, to our Wayfinding and Signage Plan, plans for the Democratic National Convention, upcoming events and so much more.
Enjoy reading this special edition of The Catalyst, and please remember to shop local and support our partners doing great work in and around the IMD. On behalf of the IMD Commission, I wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season and a joyous new year!
CEO and Executive Director
Around the IMD
Development: Building a better IMD
Cadence Now Open
Located at 2050 W Ogden, Cadence features 161 units each with their own private balcony and all the dining and convenience options in the Gateway right outside your front door.
- Phone: 312-874-6662
- Email: email@example.com
The Lydian Now Open
Located at 513 S Damen, the Lydian features 279 units with floor to ceiling windows, a pool, luxury finishes, 24/7 security with concierge and so much more.
- Phone: 872-216-3950
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Foglia Residences Coming 2024
Located at the corner of Roosevelt Rd and Wood St, Foglia will offer 76 affordable and accessible units designed for residents who are blind, visually impaired, disabled and veterans. The development will be the first Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) building in the nation for the blind community. Stay tuned for more as this development progresses.
IMD Wayfinding and Signage Plan
The Illinois Medical District Wayfinding and Signage project was launched with the goal of enhancing navigation and connectivity throughout the IMD, identifying and improving gateways, and creating a sense of place. The project is being led by teams from Confluence, Cardosi Kiper Design Group and alt Space Chicago.
IMD CTA Blue Line Improvements
CTA Blue Line service between the UIC and IMD stations resumed October 8, 2023. To learn more watch this video.
Starting in July, CTA replaced 15,000 feet of track, drainage systems, and upgraded power systems to support the electrical needs of new modern railcars. Much of the infrastructure along the Forest Park Branch of the Blue Line is original, dating back to 1958, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was President.
Regular service has now resumed between UIC-Halsted and IMD stations. The Racine stop is being rebuilt and will remain closed until late-2024.
IMD1 Data Center
Located at the corner of Damen Ave and Hastings St at the southern boundary of the IMD, the IMD1 Data Center will provide one of the few low-latency options for Chicago-based institutions, including specialized facilities such as hospitals, healthcare providers, and education.
Metro Edge has committed to hiring from the community and training local talent for the technology-related career opportunities IMD1 will provide. Stay tuned for more as this development progresses to learn about future hiring events.
EmVenio Research Community Research Site
EmVenio Research joined the IMD, opening a mobile community research site at 2023 W Ogden. EmVenio Research focuses on delivering clinical trial access to diverse and economically underserved communities.
Mobile sites like this can be adaptably located, so the travel, scheduling, and challenges that can discourage participation, and continued participation, in trials can be minimized.
If you visit EmVenio, take a moment to also admire the public graffiti art covering the building on the site.
COVID-19 Monument Design Competition Winner Announced
Casey Schachner, Assistant Professor of Art in the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art at Georgia Southern University, has won the $20,000 prize. The competition ran from April to September of this year and was open to everyone throughout the world over the age of 18. Her sculpture concept features the dandelion flower as a metaphor for the worldwide pandemic experience. Stay tuned for more as this project develops.
Chick-fil-A, Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon
A highly anticipated new restaurant opened in the Gateway this year: Chick-fil-A.
Chick-fil-A and Auntie Anne’s/Cinnabon joined existing Gateway dining options including Starbucks, Chipotle, Jimmy John’s, Panda Express, Pita Pita, Five Guys and Buffalo Wild Wings.
Whatever your tastes, there’s something for everyone in the IMD Gateway!
Crockett Cookies Food Venue
A new neighbor arrived at the food hall on the first floor of the Hyatt Place: Crockett Cookies Food Venue.
This selection of restaurants showcases local and international flavors with a selection of sweet and savory options, including Crockett Cookies, Dozzy’s Grill, Chubby’s Char House and Chicago Eats Marketplace.
We were proud to feature Crockett Cookies at our October All Council Happy Hour, so stop by for lunch or dinner or contact them at 312-981-9863 to cater your next event.
Open daily from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. H Bar offers a variety of provisions and drinks for the weary traveler or after work happy hour in a beautiful setting.
Check out their menu to plan your next visit.
Wellness: Fostering a healthier IMD
IMD Bike and Pedestrian Safety Action Plan
In January, the IMD Commission selected Sam Schwartz to develop a comprehensive plan and make recommendations to improve our bike and pedestrian safety and raise awareness of alternative transportation methods.
In addition to engaging our stakeholders as part of the planning process, we also held a series of bike pop-up events to engage riders where they are.
The final Bike and Pedestrian Safety Action Plan will be delivered in early 2024, so stay tuned for more as we prepare to announce the plan for making the streets and sidewalks of the IMD safer and more inclusive for bikers and pedestrians alike.
Rise to Shine Inclusive Run and Walk
On Sunday, October 22 the IMD was proud to host the second annual Chicago Lighthouse Rise to Shine Inclusive Run and Walk 10K/5K/1M.
Over 400 participants showed up on a crisp and sunny morning for this accessible, certified and chip-timed event that promotes health, community and inclusion for people with disabilities in the IMD.
IMD Run and Walk Group
Open to the public and meeting twice per month at Hyatt Place, we ran and walked a 1-mile course guided by expert trainers from Precision Human Performance. Stay tuned for more as we prepare to announce our IMD fitness plans for 2024!
Events: Connecting the IMD community
IMD Art Fair
On May 24, the IMD Arts Council held its first annual Art Fair at 2023 W Ogden Ave.
Local artists, many who contributed to the graffiti art installation that served as a backdrop for the event, joined IMD partners and passersby to celebrate the vibrant arts culture from our surrounding neighborhoods.
The event was planned by G Events, and attendees enjoyed tacos from Masa Brothas, music from DJ Alex Miura and Urban Prairie Waldorf School and River Birch Charter School and a graffiti panel discussion moderated by S.H.E. Gallery.
IMD All Council Happy Hours
The IMD held its first All Council Happy Hour events this year, offering council members some face-to-face networking opportunities.
Juneteenth Illinois and ADA State of Diabetes
In June, IMD was proud to support the second annual Juneteenth Illinois event at Malcolm X College celebrating Black liberation and equity in education, entrepreneurship, criminal justice and healthcare.
And in November, we were proud to support the American Diabetes Association’s 2023 Illinois State of Diabetes Community Day of Access and Education, also at Malcolm X College, that provided free diabetes screenings, diabetes resources, and panel discussions around health equity for the 1 out of 2 Americans impacted by the disease.
New Public Art in the IMD
The IMD Arts Council, in collaboration with S.H.E. Gallery, unveiled a new series of pieces titled “Chicago-Style Graffiti: 4 Seasons” at 2023 W Ogden Ave covering the facade of the old Easterseals building. This artwork, created by Chicago first-generation graffiti writers, celebrates the four seasons as experienced in Chicago.
In April, CEO and Executive Director Allyson Hansen was honored to speak at the unveiling of a new mural titled “Nurture” now on display at the Cook County Health Professional Building at 1950 W Polk St. Created by Beth Chin (also known by artist name, Elli Sebastian), the mural depicts a multiracial paternal care figure holding two children close to him, breaking from traditional gender norms to nurture the IMD community.
Last October CAN TV unveiled their outdoor mural in anticipation of this year’s 40th Anniversary. The mural was recently registered with the City of Chicago’s DCASE Mural Registry under the title, “Stay Tuned”, located at 1309 S Wood St. The CAN TV staff and board were proud to collaborate with Cyd Smillie, the founder and current president of ARTS ALIVE CHICAGO, an arts non-profit that seeks to promote public art and artists in partnerships with business and community.
Green: Growing a more sustainable IMD
Tree and Flower Planting
The IMD, in partnership with Morton Arboretum, planted over 30 trees to begin our journey to improve shade cover, reduce heat islands, and promote better health through tree canopies throughout the IMD.
In June, we were joined by students from Chicago Hope Academy to plant flowers and bushes around the IMD. In additional to appreciating these plants for their aesthetic beauty, we are monitoring which plants thrive best in our climate which will help inform out future landscaping projects throughout the IMD.
Clean the Streets
In June, the IMD hosted its first Clean the Streets in partnership with West Central Association, City of Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation, and Alderman Walter Burnett Jr.
Together, we collected over twenty large contractor bags of trash from our sidewalks and roads.
Growing Solutions Farm
Growing Solutions Farm from Urban Autism Solutions continued to offer fresh, produce grown right here in the IMD. We were proud to gift Deputy Mayor of Business and Neighborhood Development for the City of Chicago Kenya K. Merritt a basket of produce from the farm when she visited in August.
Growing Solutions Farm is a 1.2-acre produce farm located in the IMD where Chicago public high school students with autism and related challenges gain vocational skills as they work at the farm. Students learn how to harvest food, develop skills in food safety and sanitation, build raised beds, prepare soil, tend compost piles and harvest and prepare food for sale.
Around 90% of students tending the farm are from low-income families and experience food insecurity. Every week during the growing season, these students take home a bag of fresh, nutritious produce from the farm. Growing Solutions Farm also donates 20 percent of its harvest each week to Grace Seeds Ministry, which distributes it to food pantries on the West Side of Chicago. The farm reopens in 2024, so we hope you’re hungry!