Cost of Woodlawn center plan rises by $200M

Development aims to protect area from gentrification

J. Byron Brazier and Rev. Byron Brazier with a rendering of Chicago’s Apostolic Church of God’s Woodlawn Central plan (LinkedIn. Woodlawn Central, ACOG-Chicago.org)
J. Byron Brazier and Rev. Byron Brazier with a rendering of Chicago’s Apostolic Church of God’s Woodlawn Central plan (LinkedIn. Woodlawn Central, ACOG-Chicago.org)

The cost of a multicultural complex in the South Side’s Woodlawn neighborhood has risen by $200 million.

The 18-acre project from a father-son duo from the Apostolic Church of God at 6320 South Dorchester Avenue will cost about $800 million, reflecting an accelerating inflation rate, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. It’s in part an effort to retain residents of the largely Black neighborhood, whose population has fallen to about 25,000 from 80,000 since the 1960s as well as to prevent gentrification stemming from the nearby Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park.

The higher cost estimate hasn’t scared off interested partners who are seeking to join the project, however.

“We are looking at who we can have the best working relationship with,” J. Byron Brazier, the son of church pastor the Rev. Byron Brazier, told the publication. “We as developers are looking at how we can build people while building buildings.”

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While details aren’t complete, the general vision for the project calls for 870 housing units, a hotel, a theater, a parking garage for the church and up to 215,000 square feet of commercial space. The church will retain ownership of the land and allow structures to be built on ground leases.

J. Byron Brazier said he wants to submit a zoning proposal to the city at the beginning of the year and begin construction shortly after. “We need to make progress in 2023,” he said.

Brazier has previously said the complex will help show the world that the area isn’t what’s been known as “the hood.”

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Chicago
Developers to keep Obama Center units affordable through 2056

— Victoria Pruitt