Chicago Fire plans new training facility at former CHA site

The Chicago Fire football team plans to build a practice facility on land that was once one of the Chicago Housing Authority’s largest public housing developments.

The Major League Soccer team, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Housing Authority CEO announced Thursday that they have begun discussions about developing 30 acres of vacant land on Chicago’s Near West Side. The site would house a headquarters and training center for firefighters, they said.

Under a long-term lease, the Fire would develop the multimillion-dollar facility and provide community benefits and investment, officials said. This would include investments in nearby public housing sites, job creation for community members and recreational opportunities for young people.

The property was once the site of ABLA homes, which once housed nearly 17,000 people in 3,600 units, WTTW Chicago reported.

The proposal will be discussed at community meetings over the coming weeks.

“In neighborhoods across the city, football brings people together, fostering a strong sense of history and community while showing immense passion for the game,” said Chicago Fire FC President Ishwara Glassman Chrein. “We look forward to introducing the project to the local community, hearing their feedback and creating new opportunities for Near West Side residents to enjoy the game.”

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