Bellwood Gateway Project Update 07/10/24

First of Its Kind Workforce Housing Project Breaks Ground in Bellwood

Press Release by F.H. Paschen

Bellwood, Illinois — July 10, 2024 — Community leaders, developers, and residents gathered to mark the groundbreaking of a transformative new workforce housing project today in Bellwood that signals the start of a first-of-its-kind project in the State of Illinois.    

Located at 2711 St. Charles Road, this new development is a collaborative project between the Village of Bellwood, construction manager and developer F.H. Paschen, the State of Illinois and Mesirow Public Finance and promises to meet the growing demand for workforce housing in West Suburban Cook County.  

Scheduled for completion in Spring 2026, this new workforce housing project has been made possible by financing secured through a combination of private investment, a State of Illinois grant - secured by Speaker Emauel “Chris” Welch - and the innovative use of workforce housing bonds, marking a milestone in community development financing in Suburban Cook County.

“Every great village has a great downtown, and I am so honored to break ground on a longtime dream come true for myself and more importantly for the residents,” said Bellwood Mayor André F. Harvey. “The Bellwood Gateway Project is a gateway to Bellwood’s future. This wouldn’t be possible without this amazing team including Speaker Welch who shares our vision.  I am blessed with a great village board of trustees and staff. Peter Tsiolis and Aric Swaney that head up economic development for the village never say ‘no,’ but rather always say ‘let’s go.’  A special thanks to everyone at FH Paschen, Mesirow Financial and DesignBridge that played pivotal roles.”

The Bellwood project marks the first-ever workforce housing development to utilize workforce housing bonds anywhere in Illinois.  

“Growing up in the ‘Woods – Bellwood and Maywood – made me the man I am today; it will always be home,” said House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch. “I’m so proud that this first phase of the Bellwood Gateway Project will help dozens of families call this vibrant, diverse community their home, too. I want to thank Mayor Harvey, village staff, and residents for their shared vision in revitalizing our downtown spaces.” 

As outlined by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) in their “On To 2050 Plan”, communities like Bellwood need to match local housing supply with types that residents want - and increasingly today that means workforce housing.  

The developer is F.H Paschen - an Illinois-based construction company with more than 100 years of experience across Chicago and the suburbs including the development of workforce housing projects. “At F.H. Paschen, we know first hand how communities like Bellwood are adapting to meet the demands of their changing population. We’ve been working in Chicago and the suburbs for almost a century to help build the places we live and learn and age-in-place,” said James Blair, CEO of F.H. Paschen.  “This transformative workforce housing project in Bellwood stands as a repeatable initiative that other suburban communities can emulate. This project exemplifies the successful collaboration between public and private entities to provide housing options for a changing workforce.”

“Today, we celebrate more than the start of construction. This project represents F.H. Paschen’s commitment to building better communities through the creation of workforce housing in Bellwood,” said James Blair, President and CEO of F.H. Paschen.  “This project is a testament to what a community can achieve through collaboration and vision.  In particular, the work of Speaker Chris Welch - who provided the initial grant to make workforce housing possible in the Village of Bellwood.”

Joining Village of Bellwood Mayor Andre F. Harvey at the groundbreaking was State of Illinois General Assembly Speaker Emanual “Chris” Welch, F.H. Paschen President and CEO James Blair and Peter Tsiolis, Strategic Project Management.  

“This project is an example of a mayor and village that aren’t myopic or limited in their vision.” said Peter Tsiolis.  “It is a testament to Mayor Harvey’s leadership and ability to bring together this stellar team to create the Bellwood of the future.”             

Bellwood Housing Project

Photo by Bellwood Clerk Janel Moreland, Village Free Press 

View Bellwood Gateway Project >>

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