Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago, Inc.

Project Type

New Construction

Project Description

The Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago, Inc. (ESMC) project involves the new construction of a two-story 26,378 square foot fitness, wellness and recreation center for Easterseals Academy, a school for children with autism spectrum disorders, emotional disabilities and developmental delays in Chicago, Ill. This facility includes a gymnasium, performance space and a recreational space for the school that currently serves students ages 3 to 22, adults and community members. Easterseals Academy has been operating without a gymnasium/recreational space for 10 years. 

This facility creates much needed space for the students attending Easterseals Academy. Special Olympics is the most important annual event for Easterseals Academy students.  

ESMC also serves as a new resource within the community providing space for use by local organizations, other various public state and local agencies and nonprofit organizations.


Financing includes $12 million in New Market Tax Credit allocation, of which Enterprise provided $5 million and The Community Builders CDE LLC provided $7 million. Chase is the NMTC investor.



The facility is located in the Illinois Medical District. It is a transit-oriented development located less than half a mile to several bus stops and Chicago public rail transit, making the area accessible to the greater community.

Community Impact

ESMC will not only serve the Easterseals Academy students and teachers, it will also serve as a new resource for ad-hoc space within the community providing use by local organizations, such as Special Olympics, Head Start, the FBI, a charter school located across the street, other various public state and local agencies and nonprofit organizations.. ESMC estimates over 1,000 people will use the space each year. 

This facility is expected to create approximately 400 temporary construction jobs. 100% of the construction jobs will be union and livable wage, with targets of Minority Business Enterprise of 24% and Women’s Business Enterprise of 4%. The facility is expected to retain
143 new full-time permanent positions. Easterseals Academy currently employs 20-25 people with disabilities, several individuals from the broader community with autism.

The building will achieve LEED certification and include a green roof and energy efficient building systems.


Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago, Inc. is an independent nonprofit organization serving the greater Chicago and Rockland, Ill. area. ESMC is the regional location under the parent entity Easterseals, Inc. For nearly 100 years, Easterseals, Inc. has provided resources for people and families facing disability, offering a wide range of services and support to over 1.8 million children and adults through a network of 72 Easterseals locations in communities nationwide, plus three international partners in Australia, Mexico and Canada.


Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co., a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6trillion and operations worldwide. 

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