Wight partnered with IFF/Allies for Community Business and the Industrial Council of Nearwest/ICNC to design and build a new food and beverage incubator called “The Hatchery” in the East Garfield Park area of Chicago. The facility is an innovative space for local food and beverage entrepreneurs and is designed with flexibility to adapt to market demands over time. Approximately 67,000 sf of flexible new food-grade space will serve approximately 100 start-up or early-stage food entrepreneurs with shared kitchens, storage, and office space, plus areas for workforce training sessions and community meetings.
As design architect, Wight’s building design focused on sustainable strategies that lower operating costs through possible alternative energy, recycling, and/or energy conservation. Nearly 10,000 sf was designated for Allies for Community Business and the Industrial Council of Nearwest (formerly Accion Serving Illinois & Indiana), who relocated its headquarters to The Hatchery. It was the vision of both Allies for Community Business, a nonprofit microlender, and the Industrial Council of Northwest Chicago (ICNC), that successfully convinced the Garfield Park Community Council to embrace this unique and exciting project. IFF, whose mission is to help communities thrive by creating opportunities in low-income areas, was the project’s developer, and a trusted partner with Wight on numerous assignments.