Hilco Redevelopment Partners Breaks Ground on the Renovation of Three Basketball Courts in Chicago’s Little Village Community Providing Youth Sports and Programming
Renovations include New Pavement, Striping, and the addition of New LED Lighting
November 13, 2023 – Hilco Redevelopment Partners (HRP), a Chicago-based vertically integrated real estate investment and redevelopment company that reimagines, remediates, and redevelops complex industrial sites across the United States, has partnered with local youth sports organization Beyond the Ball to break ground on the renovation of existing basketball courts used to provide year-round youth sports programming in Chicago’s Little Village Community. The renovations, which will be funded by HRP, will include new pavement, striping, fence repairs, and LED lighting.
The Little Village basketball courts are located on the campus of two Chicago Public Schools, Joseph E. Gary and Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez Elementary located at the intersection of 31st Street and Lawndale Avenue. Ortiz and Gary Elementary are home to approximately 1,500 students from Pre-K to 8th grade. Beyond the Ball serves all youth in Little Village with a mission of leveraging the power of sport and play to reclaim space, unite the community, and develop a culture of opportunity.
“Transforming the Gary and Ortiz Elementary School Basketball courts is a unique opportunity to create meaningful change in our hometown and in the same community where we have transformed a former coal-fired power plant into a sustainable economic engine, creating thousands of jobs here in Little Village,” said HRP CEO Roberto Perez. “We are proud to work with our partners at Beyond the Ball to help build an environment for this community and its youth to grow and thrive.”
“Beyond the Ball is greatly appreciative to HRP for the investment in the basketball courts at the Gary/Ortiz campus,” said Founder of Beyond the Ball Robert Castaneda. Throughout the years HRP has given school supplies, including shoes, meals for families during the holidays, provided toys for youth at Christmas, and coats for all ages during the winter. This donation is different. It provides infrastructure that contributes to public safety in our community.”
” We value Beyond the Ball’s commitment to providing our school community with year-round sports programming and thank Hilco Redevelopment Partners for the much-needed basketball court improvements that will support our efforts to keep our students and community active and healthy,” said Principal Alberto Juarez, Joseph E. Gary Elementary School.
Robert Castaneda added “Research shows that publicly owned spaces can increase or decrease crime in the surrounding community by up to 60% based on two factors. The first is how often the space is used in an organized way. Beyond the Ball has partnered with CPS, especially the principals of Gary and Ortiz elementary schools, to intentionally program this outdoor space year-round since 2009. The second is the condition of the built environment. Beyond the Ball does regular maintenance work in this space, but projects like lighting or resurfacing are not within our capacity. In my 25 years of living in the community, the lights on the basketball courts at the Gary/Ortiz campus have never worked. I am so excited for our community and especially our young people to have basketball courts with a brand-new playing surface and lighting.”
The renovations will transform the basketball courts, which are currently poorly lit and experiencing cracking, depressions, and potholes, into safe and modern facilities. The construction work will be performed by Bear Construction, the general contractor working with HRP on the nearby Lawndale Fleet Storage Yard redevelopment.
Beyond the Ball’s youth activities are located one mile away from HRP’s Exchange 55 and Lawndale fleet storage yard redevelopments. When HRP purchased the former Crawford Station power plant in 2017, which had been a source of pollution and a barrier to connectivity in the Little Village Industrial Corridor, the company committed to transforming the 70-acre site into a new standard for sustainable redevelopment. Now complete, Exchange 55 is Chicago’s largest LEED-certified industrial building and home to a Target flow center that has created over 2,000 jobs. Adjacent to Exchange 55 is the Lawndale fleet storage yard, previously a minimally maintained gravel lot used for various operations which boasts sustainable infrastructure that includes bioswales, underground stormwater traps, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and the planting of 466 native trees in addition to the 700 trees at Exchange 55.
About Hilco Redevelopment Partners (HRP):
HRP is a vertically integrated real estate investment and redevelopment company that re-imagines, remediates, and redevelops obsolete industrial sites across the United States with a uniquely holistic approach to development that prioritizes economic, community and environmental sustainability. HRP’s redevelopment expertise ranges from modern logistics and distribution facilities to urban, mixed-use projects, and innovation ecosystems. HRP strives to transform not only properties, but also the communities surrounding them through a comprehensive approach to community engagement, environmental sustainability, and economic development. HRP is part of the international financial services holding company Hilco Global (www.HilcoGlobal.com) which is headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois (USA).
About Beyond the Ball (BTB):
Beyond the Ball “BTB” was founded over 20 years ago to leverage the power of sport and play, to reclaim space, unite the community, and develop a culture of opportunity. By the time young children in the Little Village community reach the age of ten, many have already developed ideas and choices about gangs, drugs, and violence. Positively shaping them means getting involved at an early age. The goal is to maintain a relationship with youth all the way through college, mentoring them each step of the way. BTB strives to create safety in public play spaces for youth and families to ensure gang violence and drug trafficking do not become normal experiences of life.