Who We Are

Building upon 16 years of deep collaboration with community leaders, neighborhood voices and local constituents, community-based collaborators are working hand-in-hand to revitalize six currently vacant acres of a former CHA low-income housing project into a thriving community hub.  The video below shares our more about our community-led journey.

This shovel-ready, $60 million investment is on track to break ground in Q1 of 2022 and will generate greatly needed economic and community development to the city’s under-resourced southwest side.

Our center for community learning and wellness will catalyze surrounding development and will directly generate 1,000 union and green jobs throughout the course of construction, and 100 permanent positions, in addition to providing skills training and apprenticeships leading to long-term local employment outcomes. 

Racial Justice.jpg

Our Model

The first phase of our project is a 6-acre development that will serve as a catalyst for the neighboring 38 vacant acres and future mixed-income housing development, all of which are located on the former LeClaire Courts Chicago Housing Authority site.  Phase one will include comprehensive community facilities, resources and programming, including a health center, fresh foods store and café, teaching kitchen, community gardens, neighborhood walking trails and green spaces, a three-acre urban farm and opportunities for social enterprise development. A Head Start early childhood center and K-8 public school will also be housed on-site, enabling a cradle-to-college pipeline that is fundamental to the Purpose Built Communities model of ending intergenerational poverty.


Environmental & Economic Sustainability

On track to achieve net-positive energy and the first in Illinois to meet the most robust environmental standards in the world, the project will generate employment and social enterprise opportunities.


Health & Wellness

From a community health care center to three acres of urban agriculture produced for the on-site neighborhood fresh foods market and café, a range of programming and services will create a hub for community wellness.

Community Learning

Comprehensive resources, programming and educational opportunities will be available for learners of all ages, starting with an Early Childhood Center.


Mixed Income Housing

Led by Cabrera Capital Partners in partnership with The Habitat Company, 650 units will be introduced in phase two on the 38 surrounding acres.


"Our strength as a Nation and our ability to responsibly shape our future depends on tackling childhood obesity, and I am inspired by the work you are all doing to help realize the promise of a brighter, healthier tomorrow for our children."

Former First Lady Michelle Obama


"I am so thrilled that we are launching this new learning hub, which will do so much for communities in southwest Chicago, not to mention serve as a model for other communities here at home and beyond our state."

Mayor Lori Lightfoot


“This project is a concrete example of what innovation looks like."

Commissioner Maurice Cox


“This visionary project will be a catalyst for additional development as part of the Gateway to Midway initiative. This area of the southwest side has long suffered from systemic under investment and we are working to correct that. Our neighborhoods have been identified by the USDA’s Economic Research Service and the Chicago Health Atlas as being medically underserved, having limited access to grocery stores and higher food insecurity rates. I am proud to support Catalyst | SW-CHI in their work to correct these alarming disparities through their innovative approach to educating the whole child, family and community through wellness, nutrition and agricultural programming in addition to their commitment to being a collaborative partner in the community.”

Alderman Michael Rodriguez

Site Map Catalyst Southwest.jpg

Our Location