'The need is so great': Ex-store now furnishes space for Auburn Gresham Healthy Lifestyle Hub

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Sitting vacant for 25 years, a former furniture store is now up and running as a community health and education center.

CBS 2’s Marissa Perlman reports the building got a makeover in hopes of bringing new opportunity to the Auburn Gresham neighborhood.

“It’s amazing. I had envisioned bringing high quality health care to this community. I had no idea it would come out as beautiful as it is,” said Carlos Nelson, chief executive officer of the Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation.

What was once just an idea, photos and renderings of a space that Nelson dreamt up 10 years ago is now this: now being called “the Miracle on 79th Street.”

The Auburn Gresham Healthy Lifestyle Hub is 60,000 square-foot former furniture store is now a full service health center, community and education space.

Over the last 10 years, businesses started moving out of this neighborhood: Save-A-Lot, Aldi and CVS just to name a few. And it in this part of town, it sat empty – until now.

The $20 million dollar project got a huge boost when it won the Chicago Prize with the Pritzker Traubert Foundation. That was $10 million total, but it was also people from this community that helped make this happen.

“For those of us who are stakeholders and have a passion for rebuilding our very own, it says we have to do this for us and by us,” said Nelson.

The hub will be home to multiple businesses anchored by the University of Illinois Health Center, but it will also be a space where anyone can spend time.

“We decided to design a building that welcomes everyone. To see in, to come in. We wanted to light up 79th Street both literally and figuratively,” Nelson said.

And for Nelson, he’s already thinking about what’s next for the rest of the neighborhood, and spreading this model across the city

“I’ve already begun looking beyond this building because the need is so great in our communities,” he said.

Beyond health care, the space will also be home to a Chicago Bears teaching kitchen, Big Brothers Big Sisters and its own pharmacy.

A grand opening ceremony for the public is set for November 11th.


This page was created programmatically, to read the article in its original location you can go to the link bellow:
https://www.cbsnews.com/chicago/news/the-need-is-so-great-ex-store-now-furnishes-space-for-auburn-gresham-healthy-lifestyle-hub/
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