From the CEO

Welcome to the New Catalyst

I hope you had a peaceful and relaxing holiday season making warm memories with your loved ones. As we turn the page and begin a new year at the IMD, much like for many of you, it is an opportunity for improvement and new beginnings.

Our newsletter takes its name from our vision statement: To be a Catalyst for change. In that spirit, we got a head start on spring cleaning to reimagine our newsletter for 2023 and beyond. Our top priorities were displaying more information and improving readability, but we also wanted to showcase relevant news — zooming out to curate a selection that tells the larger story of how our civic life affects us all, including the IMD.

We listened to feedback and this new format gives us the flexibility to add more information than ever before. The Catalyst has a new home on our website, providing an expanded canvas and exciting possibilities for future content. We also selected recent headlines and important dates we hope spark interest and curiosity in you, our readers. Additionally, we incorporated several changes that improve accessibility for the visually impaired who use text to speech or sight assistive devices. We are always looking for ways to present relevant and timely information to our subscribers, and as The Catalyst continues to evolve, we welcome your input on content for future issues.

February is both American Heart Month ❤️ and Black History Month ✊?. Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States, and the leading cause for Black men and women. Each year we take time to highlight ways people can take charge of their own health to mitigate risks, including self-care to reduce stress and healthy living practices. We also recognize our healthcare partners in the IMD working tirelessly to save lives and promote access to preventative care, especially for those most at-risk populations, like regular check-ups, exercise and healthier more nutritious food options. For more information about American Heart Month including resources to share with your community, click here.

Recent events highlight more than ever that we must all work harder to build a more just and equitable world for Black people. In the District, this begins by pushing our partners to ensure patients and patrons are always treated with dignity, no matter what their skin color. We also continue to invest in minority-owned companies and organizations that are committed to making DEI and social justice a cornerstone of how they do business, providing opportunities and career paths for BIPOC and making real investments in the traditionally underserved communities that surround the IMD. Creating a safe and welcoming District for all is a crucial tenet of our work, helping to bend the long arc of history toward a safer and more equitable future for all — one building and one block at a time.

We are so thankful to you for your continued readership and I can’t wait to share more in the spring about the amazing developments our team has been working hard to bring to the IMD this year.


Allyson Hansen

CEO and Executive Director

In The District

Improving Safety: Bike and Pedestrian Planning Begins

Pedestrian on Chicago streets riding bike in bike lane

The IMD is committed to making the streets and sidewalks of the District safer and more inclusive for bikers and pedestrians alike.

On January 10, 2023, the IMD Commission approved the selection of Sam Schwartz to develop a comprehensive plan and make recommendations to improve our bike and pedestrian safety and raise awareness of alternative transportation methods.

Placing accessibility at our core and promoting inclusive transportation for staff, visitors, patients, and students to thrive is key to our future growth and success as a major employment center. Every year, we still see too many ghost bikes and memorials on street corners and along our major thoroughfares. Creating a safer, more accessible, and greener District will not only save lives and reduce bodily harm, but also improve the health and well-being of our community and improve the character of the IMD neighborhood.

District staff are also hard at work developing workshops and resources to engage directly with commuters and provide residents, workers and visitors important up-to-date knowledge about traversing the District on two wheels or two legs, including where to have your bike repaired, get air in your tires, common routes, known safety issues and much more.

You will hear more from Sam Schwartz and the District in the coming months as we engage with our community members and stakeholders to make planning as inclusive as possible.

For specific questions or insights regarding the IMD’s evolving plans around bike and pedestrian safety, you can email Franny Ritchie, Project Manager, at

Now Leasing: The Lydian and Cadence

The Lydian apartment interior kitchen with stainless steel appliances
The Lydian apartments interior.

It has never been easier or more enjoyable to work and live in the IMD with new residential units now leasing.

The Lydian

Available now, The Lydian is conveniently located at 513 S. Damen adjacent to the IMD.

Providing affordable housing options in the District is one of our top priorities. IMD staff recently met with representatives from Marquette and communicated the need for workers and students to have affordable options if they choose to live near where they work and study.

Based on that conversation, The Lydian provided a flyer] that can be shared with your teams to raise awareness. All units include floor to ceiling windows, luxury fixtures, free bike storage, wifi, 24/7 security, and study rooms with optional short-term leases.

View or download the Lydian flyer to share with your teams, click here.

For questions about leasing, contact Sarah Otis, Leasing Manager, at


Also leasing now is Cadence at 2050 W. Ogden located in the IMD with convenient access to the Gateway and more.

We will continue to share more information about residential developments in and around the District as they come online and we work to make the District a safe and welcoming place to call home.

Requests for Proposals: Auditing Services and Wayfinding

Loudspeaker emoji with text that reads "Requests for Proposals"

Auditing Services

The Illinois Medical District Commission is requesting proposals from qualified, responsible Certified Public Accounting firms to provide Auditing Services for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2022 and ending June 30, 2023.

The IMD desires to retain expert, professional services to conduct an examination of, and to render an opinion on the year-end financial statements of the IMD within the State of Illinois’ allowed timeframe for audited financial statement submittals.

Responses are due by March 9, 2023.

Learn more and how to submit your proposal here.


The Illinois Medical District Commission is requesting proposals from qualified, responsible firms to provide Wayfinding Planning and Signage Design Services.

The IMD is seeking a firm that is aligned with our overall mission, and mindful of both existing and potential resources that would be available to the District when bringing final plans to fruition. Firms wishing to set themselves apart in their proposal would clearly demonstrate the capacity to assist with completion of a wayfinding and signage master plan for the District with the goals of enhancing sense of place, improving IMD brand recognition, creating a cohesive signage system, and simplifying pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle navigation. The IMD is requesting interested parties to submit proposals for a wayfinding plan that should be inspirational and create alignment between the District and its anchors.

Responses are due by March 17, 2023.

Learn more and how to submit your proposal here.

Your Voice Matters: Early Voting Begins and Chicago Disability Survey

Chicago Board of Elections sign with arrow that reads "Early Voting"

Early Voting Begins

The 2023 Chicago Municipal Election is days away. Early Voting in all 50 Wards of Chicago will begin Monday, February 13 and run through February 28, 2023 (Election Day). Cast your vote at one of the convenient sites below.

Nearby Locations:

UIC Student Center, 750 S. Halsted St.
Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph Ave.
Rudy Lozano Library, 1805 S. Loomis St.


Weekdays: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Election Day: 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (February 28)

You can always early vote at the Supersite at 191 N. Clark St.

To download a flyer with all early voting locations, click here.

For more information visit the Chicago Board of Elections website.

Disability Survey

Person with braids and glasses smiling. Mural by Sam Kirk 2102 W Odgen Avenue. We want to know what art and culture programs you want to see and/or participate in and how we can make them as accessible and accommodating as possible. The survey will take no more than 10 minutes to complete.

The City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs (DCASE) and Special Events and Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) has launched the first Artist in Residence at the Central West Center located at 2102 W Ogden Avenue. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

As part of this residency, they are capturing general feedback from the Chicago community of adult people living with disabilities regarding:

  1. What arts and culture programs they want to see and/or participate in at the Central West Center and
  2. How MOPD and DCASE can make them as accessible and accommodating as possible.
  3. How to make the Central West Center a cultural destination.

The goal is to engage at least 750 participants before March 1, 2023.

Please take a moment to share your feedback here.

The survey takes no more than 10 minutes to complete. For questions or any accessibility support please contact for assistance.

For full Central West Artist in Residence program schedule, click here.