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A year round facility that would offer:

  • a fresh food mini-market

  • farmer’s market (year round)

  • Fresh Food Restaurant/café

  • Commercial Community kitchen to support developing food entrepreneurs

  • prepared healthy fresh foods for sale and much, much more

  • Renovated 35K SF former industrial building

  • Mixed-use/multi-purpose healthy food access concept

  • Hydroponics, full-service dining, fresh prepared foods, healthy food retail, workforce development, agriculture education

  • Strategically located, easy access to other Imani Village amenities

  • Distribution center for Urban Farm yield

  • Synergy with other Imani Village programs




Social and Economic Impact


  • Leverage Pembroke Farm Community with Imani Village distribution network

  • Workforce Development with CPS and City Colleges of Chicago

  • Project Value –$5.5M

  • Construction Jobs –30

  • Permanent Jobs –30




  • Burnside in close proximity to other South-side communities including Chatham, Pullman, and Roseland.

  • Approximately 280,000 residents dwell within 5 mile radius of proposed site. 

  • 7000 students and 470+ faculty/staff at neighboring Chicago State University. 

  • Market will include surrounding area, Imani Village residents (approximately 100-200), members of Trinity United Church of Christ members (approximately 8,000), Chicago residents overall

  • The market will be located in Accessible via 2 major interstates and plentiful public transportation options (Attract Chicagoans from other neighborhoods and tourists with an interest in arts and culture.




  • Lack of healthy food retail options on the Southside 
  • Exodus of grocery stores in early 80’s
  • More than 600,000 Chicagoans cannot access –or afford –fresh foods within a reasonable distance from their homes
  • Example: Lincoln Park neighborhood which has 418 Food Service and Drinking Places and 70 Food and Beverage Stores, the Burnside area (targeted location for Urban Oasis), yields only 71 Food Service and Drinking Places and 34 Food and Beverage Stores.



Map Notes: Areas shown in red have low-income populations that are more than 0.5 miles from a retail store that sells food and is more than 2,500 square feet in sizw; darker blue areas have higher food insecurity rates; and areas that are darker purple have higher rates of diabetes hospitalization. Data were provided by HED, CDPH and the Greater Chicago Food Depository

  • Urban Oasis offers a year round healthy alternative destination in stark contrast to current offerings.

  • Few local farmers markets, with the nearest market being 5 miles away.

  • Existing farmers markets are typically small, seasonal, limited to single day or weekend, and do not include a diversity of added value products and artisans.

  • One grocery chain store (about 3 miles away) with a heavy emphasis on low priced, unhealthy processed food options.

  • No African-American specialty market in the city of Chicago.

  • Restaurants are predominantly fast food chains offering low priced, unhealthy processed food options (Burgers, Fried Chicken, Ethnic carry outs). No full service sit-down restaurant in the area.

  • Only three shared-use kitchens licensed in the city.

  • Business with a social mission

  • For-profit and Non-profit

  • Provides innovative food retail options to residents locally and citywide through a wide variety of healthy foods, cultural products, ethnic goods, and opportunities for employment training.




Market Strategy
  • URBAN OASIS aims to be an: 

    • “EDUTAINMENT”destination for target market providing entertainment and dining opportunities while educating consumers about the importance of locally grown food, sustainability, nutrition, and social justice and interactions with local artisans. 

  • Synergetic effect of combining the market, grocery, restaurant, shared kitchen, and cultural destination will create a vibrant community atmosphere.

  • Positive cultural based activities and entertainment to complement market experience. 

  • Attract consumers interested in supporting the social mission of Imani Village. Urban Oasis will also have a major focus on workforce development and training for unemployed and underemployed residents through job opportunities in the grocery and food retail industry. 

  • The shared-use kitchen will be a support to small food business vendors selling added value products in the year around farmers/artisan market 

  • Prominent -easily accessible location off a major street, near 2 major interstates with plentiful public 




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