In March 2018, CDF provided $6 million in NMTC allocation to Gads Hill Center. Financing supported the purchase and renovation of a two-story former retail building into the 18,000 square foot Brighton Park Early Learning Center. The project is located at 4255 S Archer Ave. and includes 2 infant classrooms, 2 toddler classrooms, and 3 classrooms for 3-5 year olds. Gads Hill Center was founded in Pilsen in 1898 to serve immigrant families and today provides over 4,000 children and working families with quality early education, youth enrichment, and family support services annually. The project also includes office and meeting space for the Center’s staff and additional room to accommodate future growth and expansion.
When complete, the project will provide childcare for 180 children from low-income families through 124 childcare slots and offer workforce development, soft-skills training, and job placement services to 230 individuals annually through a partnership with Instituto del Progreso Latino. The need for childcare is especially important in the Brighton Park community area; a study conducted by IFF found the community to be the most underserved by childcare in the City of Chicago, with capacity for just 15.6% of the children in the area. At full operation Gads Hill will employ approximately 33 FTEs at the project, 100% of which are newly created positions, and will receive a comprehensive benefits package. 50 prevailing wage temporary construction jobs will be created. Both the architecture firm and general contractor for the project are minority-owned businesses.
Renovation is underway and expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2019. NMTC equity for the project was provided by MB Financial Bank.