In January 2024, CDF provided $9 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to support the rehabilitation of an approximately 11,800-square-foot vacant building at 5713 W. Chicago Avenue in the Austin neighborhood by Westside Health Authority (WHA), a nonprofit focused on improving health and wellbeing on Chicago’s West side. Forty Acres Fresh Market (FAFM), a minority- and woman-owned grocery business, will operate an approximately 9,700-square-foot, full-service grocery store in the building, directly addressing the absence of any full-service grocery stores in the community. The remaining space will be a PNC Bank branch.
FAFM’s grocery store will include a fresh produce section, meat counter, prepared food deli, and curated assortment of dry, refrigerated, frozen, and general merchandise grocery. The store, which will accept SNAP and WIC, will increase access to affordable fresh food retail for over 40,000 low-income community residents, including approximately 31,800 Food Desert residents, within a one-mile radius. FAFM is expected to support 25 FTE permanent jobs at the Project, all of which are accessible without a high school diploma, and it will work with CARA, WHA Reentry Program, and North Lawndale Employment Network to hire community residents.
The City of Chicago provided the project with a $3 million Neighborhood Opportunity Fund Grant. NMTC equity was provided by Wintrust Bank.