HEALTH HUB COMING TO SOUTH SIDE
5/3/2017, noon | Updated on 5/3/2017, 6 a.m.
Health Hub Coming To South Side
By Christopher Shuttlesworth
The Board of Directors of the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation (GAGDC), which is a leadership team comprised of representatives from faith-based institutions, resident associations, developers, and community organizations, hosted a reception as the kick-off to an 18-month capital
campaign on April 22, 2017.
The Build on 79th Street Jazz & Champagne Reception was an opportunity to purchase a commemorative engraved plated brick that will be permanently affixed to the atrium of the Auburn Gresham Healthy LifeStyle redevelopment project.
Carlos Nelson, who is the Executive Director of GAGDC, said about 160 leaders, community residents and funders attended the reception, while the planning process for the project has included 1,500 community residents who have been active participants for more than 2 years.
“Part of what they said is that we don’t have access to Affordable Health Care,” Nelson said. “Thus, we’re going to have a Healthy Lifestyle hub that has a health center component. We don’t have access to living wage jobs. Thus at the completion, this four story development project will have more than 100 living wage jobs employed in this building for the health, technology, education and community development industries,” he said.
Nelson said the building, which has been vacant for 20 years, was built in 1929.
“This 100-year old building has a terracotta façade
and it is really impactful because it’s right next to Leo High School on 79th Street,” Nelson said. “Our focus for kicking this project off, which is dedicated to 79th Halsted, is to ultimately tie in development work to the Halsted Whole Foods Development Project.”
Nelson said the Healthy Lifestyle hub is vital to the
community because it will not only bring in health benefits and jobs, but also major commercial, business opportunities.
“GAGDC is calling the building a hub because we want it to be activated not just from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Nelson said. “But we want this building activated around-the-clock. So, the importance is that we’re talking about living wage jobs and living wage jobs will allow residents in the community to not only provide for their families but to purchase homes in the community and to have access to capital that will allow them
to patronize local businesses that we’re looking to create and launch in the community.”