Pullman Makeover Takes Step Forward With Massive Community Center
At 135K SF with three indoor turf playing fields, batting cages, classrooms and more, the newly completed Pullman Community Center is one of the largest facilities of its kind in Chicago. The center also represents a step in the revitalization of the Pullman neighborhood, according to Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, the nonprofit that developed the center.
CNI President David Doig said a facility like the Pullman Community Center will have a ripple effect in the community, spurring other kinds of development.
“The center will strengthen local businesses and improve the quality of life of residents on the Far South Side," Doig said. "It also will help CNI continue attracting new businesses — like Ford, Method, Gotham Greens, Whole Foods and others — which bring more people and amenities to the area."
That in turn will fuel the housing market, retail and other commercial development, and additional public and private investments, Doig said.
“We learned from companies locating here that the center played an instrumental role in attracting them to Pullman and the Lake Calumet region," Doig said. "When choosing sites, employers consider the quality of life provided by an area’s recreational and cultural programs. The development of the center, combined with the neighborhood’s proximity to highways, the port and rail, makes the Pullman area even more attractive for businesses.”
He believes the center will also help increase tourism by making Pullman a place people want to visit, especially in conjunction with the Pullman National Monument site.
Pullman Community Center, built by Raffin Construction and designed by ZPD+A architects on a formerly vacant site at Woodlawn and 103rd, has indoor turf playing fields for baseball, soccer, football and lacrosse, three hardwood courts for volleyball and basketball, batting cages, and classrooms and flexible space for community events and tournaments.
The facility's year-round sports, academic and cultural programs, as well as its daily operation, are managed by the Roseland Youth Center, which operates a variety of sports activities at different area locations.
The center will host league play and tournaments for various sports programs and schools in the Chicago area and is available for special event rentals.
Some of the education programs offered at the Pullman Community Center will include technology training, reading, writing and math skills tutoring, ACT exam prep, work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy, as well as sports facility management certifications. The center has the capacity to host up to 1,200 teams and 50,000 participants and visitors annually.
CNI has long been active in the redevelopment of the Pullman neighborhood. Among its local projects are the Whole Foods Midwest Distribution Center, a second Gotham Greens greenhouse and new administration building that will open in mid-2019, the 111th Street Gateway Retail Center and Pullman Park, a commercial center anchored by a Walmart Supercenter.
All together, according to CNI, these new manufacturing and distribution entities created 400 jobs, making Pullman one of the fastest-growing employment sites in Chicago.