U.S. Bank is set to donate its branch located at 2800 E. Lake Street to nonprofit community development corporation, Seward Redesign.
The nonprofit will work with 4RM+ULA, an architectural firm to develop the property into four sub-divided parcels to include affordable housing, commercial and outdoor retail spaces, nonprofit services as well as arts and cultural destinations.
Taylor Smrikárova, project leader at Seward Redesign said: “In response to the civil unrest that followed the death of George Floyd, our communities invested significant effort to first stabilize, and now rebuild Lake Street in a more equitable fashion.
“Our team is intently committed to ensuring that the U.S. Bank property is lifted up as a demonstration site for wealth creation for communities of color. When this shared vision is achieved, the result will be that each parcel will be owned by BIPOC-led businesses or community organizations.”
Both Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES) and National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS) have been invited to own and co-develop specific site parcels.
The preliminary project concepts include a community engagement process to ensure diverse participation, site activation strategies including pop-up retail facilities, public art installations, and community events/gathering spaces, CLUES ownership to ensure long-term service to Latino communities, and the opportunity for an additional people of color developer/owner to co-develop a remaining land parcel.
Reba Dominski, chief social responsibility officer at U.S. Bank, said: “After listening and learning alongside community partners through an extensive RFP process, we are excited to announce our plan to donate this property to Seward Redesign.
“We were looking for a community-focused developer who was aligned with our commitment to racial equity throughout the entire property donation process – in the interim and after the redevelopment of the location. Seward Redesign knows and understands the Seward and Longfellow neighborhoods deeply and will bring strong relationships, credibility to navigate community engagement and technical capacity to the project.”
The Lake Street property was damaged during the civil unrest in May 2020. Following this, U.S. Bank set up a mobile banking unit in a parking lot until it completes its development of a former commercial building at 3600 E. Lake Street in 2022.
U.S. Bank is also building a new branch location at 919 E. Lake Street set to open in 2022.
Recently, Santander Bank opened a branch in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania as part of its wider expansion plans, as well as donating $48,000 to two nonprofits.