Chicago neighborhood initiatives was formed in 2010 to coordinate resources, economic development and neighborhood revitalization efforts in chicagoland’s low-to-moderate income neighborhoods. CNI seeks to revitalize neighborhoods and create jobs by developing high impact projects, providing financial resources to entrepreneurs and sustaining long-term community partnerships.

High Impact Real Estate Development

CNI undertakes large scale, high-impact real estate projects in underserved areas of Chicago in partnership with community stakeholders. We do this because we believe all neighborhoods need access to groceries and retail services, and we see opportunities for investment in areas that are often times overlooked by private developers. CNI also undertakes smaller scale neighborhood preservation projects, such as redeveloping vacant buildings for affordable housing, because we believe this plays a key role in neighborhood revitalization. All of CNI’s real estate projects create construction and permanent jobs for residents.

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Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

CNI creates opportunities for entrepreneurs through our Micro Finance Group (CNIMFG). The organization creates financial and business development training opportunities for entrepreneurs and brings affordable microfinance solutions to low-income business owners. We do this because we believe small businesses are the backbone of healthy communities by creating jobs, providing access to goods and services, and contributing to neighborhood vibrancy. We continuously develop new products that are responsive to the needs of small businesses.

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Long Term Community Partnerships

CNI believes in partnering with community stakeholders to achieve consensus. CNI’s initial work began in Pullman, an iconic Chicago neighborhood that is important for its labor history, architecture, and manufacturing innovation. The long-term revitalization of Pullman remains at the core of CNI’s mission. Over the years, CNI has expanded its efforts to assist in key projects in Bronzeville and Englewood. We are constantly seeking opportunities to partner with community organizations, businesses, churches, and residents to achieve neighborhood revitalization.

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Awards and Honors

2015 Chicago Community Trust Outstanding Community Strategy of the Year Award
Chicago Commission on Landmarks
NHS Community Impact Award
Illinois Real Estate Journal 2020 Developer of the Year

The Pullman Impact Study

A new case study published by the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business examines the impact of investments and redevelopment in the Pullman community on Chicago’s South Side. The study documents the journey and lessons from place-based investments and explores how it can be replicated in other cities and communities. 

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The Chicago Neighborhood Initiative Team

CNI is proud of the men and women who work every day to ensure our vision’s success!