October 29 2012
"We tried to incorporate a couple of things to make it financially feasible, but keep the public feel to it."
-Kalan Haywood, Sr., President of Vangard Group LLC.
Vangard Group LLC, an investment group known for urban real estate investment and development, usually works on large scale projects in urban areas. So, when the request to save a local landmark came across Kalan Haywood's desk, he wasn't quick to invest his firm's resources.
That is, until he spoke with his Mom about the project. That's when Kaylan found out his Mom had a history and an emotional tie to the building on the corner of 7th and National in the Bronzeville Neighborhood. "The fire station history was exciting to me. Then it was the public library," said Haywood. "Then before it's foreclosure, it was the Inner City Arts Building when I was a child." He continues, "The Inner City Arts building is what People know it for and what peaks the most interest and zeal from the community."
Now, the building is a mixed-use space. Parts of the building have been rehabbed into office space, while leaving a chunk of the first floor for the community to used by small contractors from the neighborhood to go to review plans and bid on local construction projects.
The iconic mural on the side of the building was not touched and is expected to be repainted and updated this summer.
More about the Inner City Arts Building project is found online at www.vangardgrp.com.