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zpd+a Receives CCRE 2021 Impact Project of the Year Award

zpd+a is thrilled to announce that we are the recipients of the 2021 Impact Project of the Year Award as part of the 33rd Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards, honoring our recently completed BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois Morgan Park Solution Center project.

BCBS IL Morgan Park Solution Center Entry

The Annual Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards brings together 2,000 of Chicago’s top real estate professionals to celebrate their industry’s outstanding achievements and support the Food Depository raising awareness and funds towards food insecurity in Chicago. Awards are presented in twenty-five categories and based on such criteria as distinctive, functional or innovative design, quality of construction and impact on the community.

The Impact Project of the Year is awarded to the project that has had the most notable community and social impact, with particular emphasis on advancing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.

When the BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois Morgan Park Solution Center opened in 2020, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) President and CEO, Maurice Smith, said, "We believe in the power of community and how collective action will drive long-term meaningful change for our members and employees where they live and work."

To bring this vision alive, HCSC, along with JLL and DL3 Realty, completed a lease transaction for a large vacant retail space. HCSC then partnered with zpd+a architects, Brown and Momen, and Pepper Construction to revive the abandoned big-box space into a dynamic office and community center while helping to create 550 high quality neighborhood jobs. The design features two bold interior courtyards, flooding the interior with natural light and providing a welcoming outdoor space for staff enjoyment.

Designed to assist at-risk neighborhoods, the Solution Centers provide good jobs with benefits and, through various partnerships, offer public access to healthier lifestyles with wellness checks, educational seminars and career fairs. The space includes a Blue Door Neighborhood Center providing health and wellness programs for the community, with a focus on outreach preventative measures. The facility incorporates a multi-function event space that can be partitioned to serve as a large meeting space or intimate training room, and host for other community events, gatherings and demonstrations such as yoga, senior events and health classes.

Opening Day at the BCBS IL Morgan Park Solution Center

One of the new hires is lifetime Morgan Park resident, Aquea. “I’m just so grateful right now — for those of us that live in the community, to be able to see a future giving back and working in the community that we live in,” said Aquea, a health educator at the Blue Door Neighborhood Center. “Blue Cross planting themselves here in Morgan Park is a game changer and I am excited to put my experience and knowledge into making Morgan Park a better place.”

Receiving the 33rd Chicago Commercial Real Estate 2021 Impact Project of the Year Award is an honor, and we are delighted to be recognized partners in creating positive impact in our local communities.

Arial View showing the courtyards cut out from the existing building shell.

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