Chicago Ave. – Retail Thrive Zone


Retail Thrive Zones Initiative Will Create Jobs and Revitalize Commercial Corridors on South, Southwest, and West Sides through Targeted Support and Investments

Mayor Emanuel’s Retail Thrive Zones initiative is a three-year pilot program aimed at strengthening the economic vitality of eight neighborhood commercial corridors. Each of the Retail Thrive Zone corridors, located on the City’s South, Southwest, and West sides, have economic challenges, but they also have strong potential for growth. Within those corridors, the City will offer an evolving package of financial assistance to entrepreneurs and business.

By focusing on targeted areas, the City is able to roll out programs more quickly, experiment with new ideas, and expand those that are successful to other parts of the city.

A main goal of the Retail Thrive Zones program is to make it easier for businesses to apply for financial incentives.

The bedrock of Mayor Emanuel’s economic development platform is to improve quality of life in our neighborhoods and combat the economic conditions that lead to crime, with a particular focus on communities that are not receiving private investment. The Thrive Zones program is intended to promote entrepreneurship, build community-based wealth and employment, and improve access to amenities in those neighborhoods. To do this, the City is working with local community organizations to implement a series of evolving initiatives.

In Austin Austin African American Business Networking Association

First Round Recipients from West Chicago Avenue’s Soul City Corridor:

Project Address Summary
Bitoy’s Sweet Treats 5957 W. Chicago Ave. Construction of an outdoor seating area for the neighborhood sweets shops
Charday’s Barber Cuts & Beauty Salon 5661 W. Chicago Ave. Renovation of a longstanding neighborhood barber shop
Chicago Eats Sports Bar 5312 W. Chicago Ave. Build out of a new family friendly sports bar that will feature a variety of Chicago specialties
Frank Lewis’ property 5241 W. Chicago Ave. Renovation of the property, so it can house a modern breakfast oriented restaurant
Ike’s Place for Blues and Jazz 5847 W. Chicago Ave. Build out of a new blues and jazz club as part of the “Soul City Corridor”
L. Maycreations 5936 W. Chicago Ave. Build out for a jewelry store, that will offer spoken word poetry nights and arts classes for children
Westside Health Authority 5246 W. Chicago Ave. Redevelopment of four vacant storefronts that will provide retail space to local entrepreneurs and artists