Nobel Neighbors Is Organizing For A New North-Pulaski Library

On Christmas 1989, the North-Pulaski branch burned down leaving all of Humboldt Park without a library. The work of our fellow community groups like The Block Club Federation and Youth Service Project was able to advocate and bring not one, but two new branches to the community. The Humboldt Park Branch, at North and Troy was built, in 1995 and the North-Pulaski Branch was leased in 1996, at North and Lowell.

The North-Pulaski branch serves West Humboldt Park, North Austin, and Hermosa, but is only about 6,000 sq. ft. Modern branches that serve our communities across the city are between 15-18,000 sq. ft. and have 15-20 spaces for parking. Our current space is not big enough to serve families or students from local schools such as North-Grand HS, Orr HS, Pritzker College Prep, Marine Leadership Academy and Stowe, Nixon, Nobel, West Park, and Cameron elementary schools.

It has been a decades long dream of residents to have a North-Pulaski Branch library that would serve our families and students of our local schools. The dream is close to becoming a reality.

Over the last year, Nobel Neighbors and other local stakeholders have been organizing to redevelop the old Pioneer Bank and its vacant lot to the north of it. Working through community roundtables stakeholders have brainstormed elements that could go into the Pioneer Bank Redevelopment. A larger, relocated North-Pulaski Branch library has been the top element residents, seniors, youth, business owners, and community organizations have desired.

Before the May 18th Chicago Public Library Board meeting, Nobel Neighbors organized a email writing campaign to formally request that the library board and new CPL commissioner, Chris Brown, commit to bringing a new library to the Pioneer Bank Redevelopment.

At the virtual meeting, commissioner Brown mentioned (minute 36:28) that dozens of community letters of support for a new, expanded North-Pulaski library were sent his way; too many he could not read them all. After reading one such letter, Commissioner Brown responded that the CPL has expressed interest in relocating the North-Pulaski Branch and said he has shared that interest with the city’s Department of Planning. 

 “Should a developer be interested in bringing a library to the site, we are open to the opportunity,” Brown said. He added, “We’ve also expressed requirements of the branch located in the RFP as being at least 16,000 sq. ft. , with dedicated parking.”

This is a community win! We couldn’t do this without you, our neighbors.

It is our hope that the commissioner’s expression of intention will push interested developer teams to formalize their bids to include the element of a Chicago Public Library in the Pioneer Bank redevelopment.

Let’s continue to build the momentum to bring the North-Pulaski Branch library to its namesake corner. 

A redeveloped Pioneer Bank and community and cultural hub.
A 75-90 unit affordable housing building with commercial/civic space on the ground level. Both the Pioneer Bank and the affordable housing buildings can accomodate a relocated and expanded North-Pulaski Library.


Homeless Sock Drive

Those with no permanent housing are some of the most vulnerable in the city! If you look around our city you may have seen some of the encampments. Due to Covid 19 many shelters are accepting less people in addition many have to give up many of their personal belongings so that they can stay in a shelter. Consider helping us to help others during these trying times!

Humboldt LIT Community Benefits Agreement

The Humboldt LIT Community Benefits Agreement

Summary: The $50 million development of the Humboldt LIT (Loft Innovation Terminal) by IBT Group LLC, located on 6 acres at 1334 N. Kostner Ave, will bring catalytic change to the West Side. Nobel Neighbors, a 35 year old community organization that serves Humboldt Park between North Ave, Division St., Pulaski Rd., and Kostner Ave believes in community planning and community control over development. The following commitments, when agreed by the developer, will assure a collaborative relationship between the development team and residents. It make certain that long-term prosperity is driven by the long-term neighbors, businesses and stakeholders who have invested in our community for generations.  

  • The majority of the 800 permanent jobs brought to the neighborhood through Humboldt LIT will be marketed towards and go to residents from Nobel Neighbors’ service area, the 37th Ward, and the far West Side.
  • All jobs in and through Humboldt LIT will be living wage jobs. 
  • A number of jobs will be set aside for hard to employ populations such as ex-offenders, youth, seniors, and the longtime unemployed from Nobel Neighbors’ service area, the 37th Ward and the far West Side. The number will be determined through collaboration with Nobel Neighbors, the 37th Ward and other far West Side stakeholders. 
  • Humboldt LIT’s marketing plan and outreach, through IBT Group LLC, Cawley Chicago and Mauge, Inc. will be retooled to reach out to and secure local Black and Brown creatives, non-profits, small businesses, makers, tech entrepreneurs and startups to lease out space in the development, as tenants. All tenants secured from the Nobel Neighbors service area, the 37th Ward, and the far West Side will be entitled to a lease less than the NW City submarket for office space ($25 SF.) and warehouse space ($5.42 SF).
  • A percentage of local minority and women contractors/laborers from the Nobel Neighbors service area, the 37th Ward and the far West Side will be used for the 125 temporary construction jobs created through this redevelopment. Participation will be above the city requirement of 26% for Minority Owned Businesses, 6% for Women Owned Businesses and will include VBEs and BEPDs.
  • A Humboldt LIT: Construction Opportunity Fair for minority and women contractors and skilled laborers will be held at a local elementary school or high school. 
  • Current commercial tenants of the property will have the “right of first refusal”, meaning that they will be given the opportunity to sign a formal lease or extend their lease at their current rent rates and less than NW City submarket rate after the first year. This will prevent displacement of current commercial tenants en masse. 
  • The developer will ensure that this redevelopment happens without ultimately displacing current residents or businesses. This will be ensured through ongoing engagement with Nobel Neighbors and other stakeholders. 
  • The developer will support local and city policy initiatives that keep housing, commercial, and industrial space affordable in the surrounding neighborhood. 
  • Quarterly reports will be provided to Nobel Neighbors and Alderman Mitts to monitor hiring, marketing and leasing commitments. This will ensure communication and accountability for all residents and stakeholders. 
  • These commitments will be in addition to the benefits outlined under Social Impact in IBT Group LLC and its partners’ Executive Summary sheet. 

Nobel Neighbors’ Statement on George Floyd, White Supremacy, and Black Lives.

Three weeks ago the world was horrified by the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. We condemn this public lynching and come against state sactioned violence against black bodies in our community, city, nation, and world. We condemn the sickness of white supremacy that continues to infect people and institutions and destroy our black neighbors and neighborhoods. The Board of Nobel Neighbors feels anger, disgust, sadness, shock, and lament.

Sadly, the pain we are experiencing is nothing new. Systemic racism has gone on far too long unchecked. Our service area and the whole West Side has been under the scourge of white supremacy for decades, beginning with redlining, contract-buying, white flight and disinvestment, the loss of our manufacturing base, the over-criminalization, policing, and incarceration of our black and brown youth, the continual denial of standard mortgages, the allowance of subprime mortgages, and now the specter of gentrification. Nobel Neighbors has been here for over 35 years working to confront the effects of this insidious system.

As an organization that serves the West Humboldt Park community, we affirm, unequivocally, that black lives matter. As a black and Latino community we affirm black and brown solidarity. Our black neighbors matter and they are created in the image of God. The two greatest commandments are to love the Lord your God and love your neighbor.

Here are some ways we commit ourselves as an organization to love our black neighbors:

•We will invest in more community organizing.
•We will invest in youth leadership building; we will listen and be led by our youth.
•We will add more black and Latino/a members to our board to reflect our community.
•We will learn from and collaborate with organizations that have created new models of public safety.
•We will fight against displacement and for community control over development.

Let us continue to dialogue about our relationships with law enforcement. Hopefully, Nobel Neighbors can help create a bridge for our community to be heard, not neglected. Be it politics or law enforcement, we will continue to provide CAPS meeting dates, aldermanic meetings, community events, and any resources that will benefit our West Humboldt Park neighborhood.

The Board of Nobel Neighbors

Humboldt Park LIT

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Hey Neighbors did you know that there was a proposed 50 million dollar project in our community? The Project is called Humboldt Park LIT and the potential location is 1334 North Kostner. The developers will be discussing the project at Alderman Mitts community meeting this Thursday at 6pm 4926 West Chicago Ave For details about the project check out the link

$50 Million ‘Creative Office Campus’ Planned For Old Lighting Warehouses In West Humboldt Park

We urge ALL stakeholders to attend to hear about the project and what this may mean for the community.