The Development

There are three main components to HEIRs of Bronzeville. The first is a public amenity. The second is the collection of arts and cultural infrastructure. The third includes the more commercially oriented development of housing, retail, and services.


The arts and cultural programming will include an artist market, artist housing, and a creative media center. The artist housing will provide a place for artists to live, work and collaborate with each other. The artist market would also provide a place for artists to show and sell their work to the public. As a year round venue it will help create a destination to consume art in Chicago.

The creative media center will be able to physically host the dynamic programming affiliated with the project. It will include a space for music, film, and performances, and it will also house the more educationally oriented programs, training facilities, and an arts incubator space. Non-profits and other arts organizations can be based here, and the creative media center will have spaces to host facilities that support their work, such as a media tool library, film and recording studios, and writing workshops.

The commercial component will be made up of a variety of different types of developments that complement and support the arts and cultural programming. Restaurants and retail outlets will make up most of the commercial programming, however, the creative and arts programming will be supported by office space for creative commercial and related businesses. The commercial development will include market rate housing as well as a hotel to host visitors. The increased numbers of residents and visitors will provide financial support to the arts related programming through everyday and tourist commerce.



Overall, implementing HEIRs of Bronzeville could generate between 540 to 1,060 total construction jobs, of which, roughly 220 to 440 are ripple effect (indirect and induced) jobs. During the construction period, construction events have the potential to generate state and local fiscal impacts ranging from $2.7 to $5.5 million, and total fiscal impacts for the federal government ranging from $6.3 to $12.7 million.

Architecture, Transit and Community

Venue and pavilion

Bronzeville-KW_View02The HEIR Gallery is a contemporary center designed to create a warm atmosphere where young artists can showcase their work. The gallery will house an array of art mediums, such as fine art paintings, interactive sculptures, and multi-media productions for sale display and local viewing pleasure. The HEIR Gallery Pavilion is a gathering venue designed for fund-raisers, weddings, receptions, banquets, community events and more. The Pavilion will bring awareness to the surrounding communities of services as well as celebrations and triumphs of hard work, and success. This project will capitalize on a critical opportunity to create an artistic pilgrimage within one of Chicago’s burgeoning communities. The site offers several unique features that foster continued reinvestment and opportunity. The HEIR Gallery development will spur the transformation of Bronzeville’s southwestern ridge to make it a place for everyone in Chicago’s diverse community to enjoy. lobby10

The neighborhood attractions feature:

1. Its location adjacent to Washington Park, which provides an opportunity for safe housing across income groups; 2. Its proximity to low-income interior neighborhoods and the affluent South Loop and Downtown neighborhoods, which enables the property to serve as a place to engage a variety of ethnic residents as a key connection venue for a range of geographic and socioeconomic communities; 3. Its ability to provide an access point to the Lakefront via several strategic east/west Bronzeville streets. 4. The compelling transit linkages to the Dan Ryan, Lake Shore Drive, CTA “A” and “B” Elevated trains, and multiple bus lines bisecting Bronzeville streets and thoroughfares which will provide easy access to this venue throughout metropolitan and region areas of Chicago; and 5. The ready availability of vacant sites to attract businesses and investors throughout Bronzeville to promote dynamic growth in the community.

Development Benefits


The arts are essential to every child’s education. Many schools across the country are continuously facing tighter budgets and have been forced to cut arts programs. This comes at a high cost to the minds of the creative youth and the community that forgoes the investment in its social infrastructure. The arts engage all students in education, from those who are already considered successful and are in need of greater challenges, to those who would otherwise remain disconnected and are at risk of not being able to realize their own potential for success.

English, math, science and the other core subjects, the arts (music, theater, and visual and production arts) are challenging subjects with rigorous content and achievement standards at the state and national levels. They require highly qualified teachers who challenge all students, not just those who are considered artistically talented, to perform works of art, create their own works, and respond to works of art and the ideas they impart. In addition to studying the arts for their own sake, experiencing and making works of art benefits students in their intellectual, personal, and social development, and can be particularly beneficial for students from economically disadvantaged circumstances and those who are at risk of not succeeding in school. Research studies point to strong relationships between learning in the arts and fundamental cognitive skills and capacities used to master other core subjects, including reading, writing, and mathematics.

HEIR Gallery recognizes the educational opportunity the arts provide to honor and connect various learning styles while providing an environment to foster an understanding of personal identity, community contexts and global cultures. With this project HEIR Gallery aims to nurture talents into trades that will become the creative class of tomorrow.


Traditional construction, maintenance and demolition of buildings consume a tremendous amount of energy and resources. Green building is the growing movement to build homes and commercial buildings in such a way as to decrease their impact on the environment both during the construction process and throughout the lifetime of new buildings as part of our redevelopment effort. The goal of green building is to build structures that are environmentally sustainable, capable of sustaining the earth’s natural resources. JM-Bronzeville-View-3

Green buildings reduce environmental impact through the following practices: Energy efficiency and renewable energy Use of environmentally preferable buildingmaterials Waste reduction during the construction process Healthy indoor environments Water conservation Environmentally conscious site planning By incorporating these elements into a building, architects, builders, and residents can reduce the building’s impact on the environment and lead the way to a sustainable future. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, buildings account for: 36% of total energy use and 65% of electricity consumption 30% of greenhouse gas emissions 30% of rawmaterials use 30% of waste output (136million tons annually) 12% of potable water consumption Building green is important to the protection of ecosystems, to maintain safe air and water quality, and to conserve renewable and nonrenewable natural resources. Energy efficiency and resource conservation play a key role in foreign policy and national security. Less energy spent in the construction and operation of America’s buildings means less dependence on imported petroleum products.

In addition to these environmental benefits, developing a green building has many economic advantages. Energy and water efficient buildings have lower operating costs. Green buildings typically have higher appraisal values and many qualify for federal, state and local tax incentives. A “green” building is one that has been constructed or renovated to incorporate design techniques, technologies, and materials that lessen its dependence on fossil fuels and minimize its overall negative environmental impact. One of the greatest benefits of green buildings is their decreased electricity and energy usage, which helps reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. In addition, occupants of green buildings enjoy healthier indoor environments and higher productivity levels.

HEIR Gallery’s energy strategy is an important initiative to protect our environment and do something about global warming climate change, perhaps the greatest challenge facing this generation. The green features integrated into HEIR Gallery’s development plans and will significantly impact how young minds and community residents live their lives and the environment.

JM-Bronzeville-View-4HEIR Gallery’s energy strategy is an important initiative to protect our environment and do something about global warming climate change, perhaps the greatest challenge facing this generation. The green features integrated into HEIR Gallery’s development plans and will significantly impact how young minds and community residents live their lives and the environment.

Creative Jobs

Much has been written on the growing role of creativity in our economy. In Rise of the Creative Class, its author Richard Florida examines the forces reshaping our economy and how companies, communities and people can survive and prosper in uncertain times. It offers a provocative new way to think about why we live as we do today – and where wemight be headed.

Based on extensive research Richard Florida shows how the Creative Class – scientists, architects, artists and musicians – are transforming everyday life in the cities that attract them: building community spirit, attracting new investment and transforming the local economy. To attract them local authorities must focus on the three T’s of economic development – technological infrastructure, an ability to attract talent, and tolerance for change. Florida is emphatic about the need to nurture and support the local arts community, which supplies energy, creative ideas and youth to cities, qualities that rank high in whether a city is able to attract the creative class.

The HEIR Gallery recognizes that creative classes must be developed and drawn to creative hubs of learning and exhibition. Just as William Whyte’s 1956 classic The Organization Man showed how the organizational ethos of that age permeated every aspect of life, Florida describes a society in which the creative ethos is increasingly dominant. Millions of us are beginning to work and live much as creative types like artists and scientists always have. Our values and tastes, our personal relationships, our choices of where to live, and even our sense and use of time are changing.

Leading this transformation are the 40 million Americans – over a third of our national workforce – who create for a living. This “creative class” is found in a variety of fields, from engineering to theater, biotech to education, architecture to small business. Their choices have already had a huge economic impact. In the future, they will determine how the workplace is organized, what companies will prosper or go bankrupt, and even which cities will thrive or wither.

The Creative Class now comprises more than 30% of all employed people. The choices these people make have already had a huge economic impact, and in the future they will determine how the workplace is organized, what companies will prosper or go bankrupt, and even which cities will thrive or wither. Via Industry Currently, film and media technology industries (notable extensions of specialized arts training) represent a huge economic driver to hub cities. According to Wayans- Pacifica Research, the economic impact of the motion picture and television industry production in Los Angeles County exceeds $31 billion annually. Approximately 350,000 individuals work in the core business of motion pictures and television, along with thousands more in ancillary industries. Every job in the film production industry supports or sustains other indirect jobs in supplier industries and consumer services.

Due to the strong contracting and subcontracting nature that is at the core of the art production industries, there are opportunities to develop multiple rounds of economic growth and job generation rings that come about from the flexible specialization of production. For example, there are firms that must rent production spaces, equipment or cater food at location production sites while others produce hats, shirts and jackets for the film crew. These ancillary industries, linked specifically to the artproduction industry, have proven to me a major economic and employment driver in their own right. One of the key attractions of art-technology/media industries is the relatively high wages paid to industry workers. Production/crew jobs tend to pay higher wages than other blue-collar jobs using similar skills in other industries. In addition, a ladder of opportunity exists within the industry, allowing for workers to grow and attain specialized skills overt time.

In addition, art-technology/media industries provide a beneficial link with tourism. Wayans-Pacifica further cites that the excitement of the movie production business is a major international draw to Los Angeles, evidenced by the record 25.4 million tourists that visited in 2006, with Hollywood being a major attractor of those visitors. Despite the fact that Universal Studios has few actual film production studios it is a major attractor of those visitors are excited about seeing how a movie is actually made and the possibility of seeing amovie star.

Chicago continues to serve as the backdrop for many film productions and a Mecca for culturally aware tourists. The opportunity to expand and extend many of the City’s natural synergies to West Bronzeville bodes well for the HEIR Gallery Project, as it strives to increasingly emphasize the role of art, culture and technology in preparing the children of West Bronzeville for a changing economy. HEIR Gallery is positioning to remain more than a catalyst for interdisciplinary art forms, it has aspires to be a catalyst for ongoing community revitalization.