Billionaire philanthropist Penny Pritzker plans to award $10 million in grant money to a real estate project or community investment group. Dubbed “The Chicago Prize,” the contest will seek bids from projects that would accelerate economic development in a community on the city’s South or West Side.
The Chicago Prize is an endeavor of the Pritzker Traubert Foundation, the first of its kind for the nonprofit organization. The winning application—to be named following presentations by four finalists at an event in spring 2020—will employ physical development and revitalization to create and strengthen civic infrastructure. The winning initiative will also need to demonstrate how it will catalyze economic opportunities and improve the well-being of residents.
The award committee will target collaborative teams led by community-based nonprofit organizations that assemble or include the right neighborhood partners and team members with the applicable development, financial and project management expertise needed to successfully implement a multi-million-dollar, comprehensive neighborhood initiative. The four finalist teams will receive $100,000 planning grants as well as technical assistance in order to further develop each initiative’s vision, feasibility and potential impact.
Pritzker is the former U.S. Commerce Secretary, an heir to the Hyatt Hotels fortune and sister to Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. She and her husband, Bryan Traubert, co-founded the eponymous foundation in 2000. The Pritzker Traubert Foundation has more than tripled its financial commitment to Chicago over the last ten years and plans to invest $100 million dollars in the next decade to advance economic opportunity in Chicago communities.