Teachers Square Chicago
Teachers Square, in the East Humboldt Park neighborhood on Chicago’s Near Northwest Side, is located at 2620 West Hirsch Street on the 2.37 acre block bounded by West Hirsch Street, North Talman Avenue, and North Rockwell Street. Teachers Square is within the historic Puerto Rican cultural district, is located two blocks from the 207-acre Humboldt Park, and is adjacent to popular neighborhoods including Bucktown, Logan Square, and Wicker Park.
The development seeks to renovate the former DeDuprey and Von Humboldt elementary school building and maintain it as a community asset for the East Humboldt Park neighborhood. Teachers Square will provide up to 85 rental apartments for teachers and include nonprofit office/flex space and a 10,000 square foot “community as campus” space inside the building, where teachers, students, and community life-long learners all can come to together to further their degrees or participate in continuing education classes and workshops taught on-line and in-person by instructors who are entrepreneurs, successful practitioners in their fields, and professors from local and national universities.
The development will also include new construction of 30 market-rate loft apartments, a fitness center, a parking garage, and a 16,000 square foot market with communal tables, prepared foods and cooking demonstrations to serve both residents of Teachers Square and the local community. A few market-rate town homes may be included as well. These uses will be centered by what was formerly the school’s parking lot, which will be converted into a dynamic, green central plaza where community members, teachers, students, and residents can meet over a cup of coffee to review a lesson, share a picnic, watch a movie projected on the screened garage façade, or participate in year-round programmed activities.
The von Humboldt School was decommissioned in 2013 and the property was acquired by IFF in October 2015 from the Chicago Board of Education through an RFP/competitive bidding process. IFF is a local nonprofit real estate and community development organization with a long history of investing in Humboldt Park and other Chicago neighborhoods. IFF is partnering with national developer RBH Group, LLC, which has built Teachers Village in Newark, NJ, and community partner Puerto Rican Cultural Center to reposition and develop the project. Teachers Square represents a new model for celebrating educational excellence through cultivating a humanistic, cross-cultural lifestyle where community members come together to break bread, learn, play and share best practices.
Teachers Square in Chicago will target the apartments to teachers and administrators in the surrounding area. Currently we are anticipating that 20% of the units will be affordable to households making 50% Median Area Income (AMI), 30% will be affordable to middle income workers (80-120% of AMI), and 50% will be market rate.