Community Impact

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Related Midwest Community Impact

Our strength is in community

For us, real estate development and community go hand in hand. From having an open dialogue with neighbors, to workforce development, to giving back to the communities we serve, community is at our core.

Community Quote - Don Biernacki

It is our responsibility to help break down barriers to opportunities where disparities and inequalities persist. We define success by our impact on the people and communities we serve.
Don Biernacki
Executive Vice President of Construction, Co-founder of HIRE360

Community Impact - Brand Pillards

What sets us apart

Workforce Development
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We believe Chicago will reach its full potential when every resident from every community has the chance to have a good job and the opportunity to participate in the city’s economic growth. It is our responsibility to help make that vision a reality.
Neighborhood Investments
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Our mission is to strengthen the communities we work in by investing in the public realm and supporting programs that enrich the lives of those who interact with our properties. Our impact goes beyond apartments or office space.
Community Engagement
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As guests in the communities we work in, ongoing communication and transparency is critical. Being a good partner is ingrained in our fabric. We value you, your ideas and feedback.
Related Cares
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We can all do our part to give back, and for us that includes cultivating a culture of service. Employees are encouraged to spend a work day supporting a cause, a non-profit or community organization through our “day of service.”

Text and Image - Community Ecosystem Introduction


Providing Opportunities

Diversity, equity and inclusion directive

A comprehensive ecosystem

We have established an ecosystem of programs designed to help alleviate hurdles for groups that are not always afforded a level playing field. These programs aim to provide opportunities with an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion and include workforce development, community hiring, small business support and the supply chain. Ultimately, our mission is to promote and empower underrepresented individuals and small businesses and provide them a path to sustainable careers and business ventures.

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Spotlight feature on - Our community ecosystem

Our community ecosystem
Our community ecosystem

We are a founding member of HIRE360. We work to Hire, Invest, Reach and Empower through training for sustainable careers and support for local business ventures across the Chicago region. HIRE360 is a cross-industry effort with unions, other developers, contractors and trade associations all working together not only to strengthen the workforce, but to create opportunity, business, equity and wealth for residents across the Chicagoland area.

Our community ecosystem
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Our community ecosystem
Small business mentorship

Too often small, community-based businesses fail because they lack the resources to sustain work over time. We’ve made it our responsibility to help by mentoring emerging business owners, even giving many their first contracts. Our free mentorship program provides support to entrepreneurs as they navigate the complex process of starting a business, financing, scaling operations and building capacity. These efforts help pave the way for life-changing careers. 

Our community ecosystem
Our community ecosystem
Small business loan fund

We co-led the creation of a small business loan fund raising nearly hundreds of thousands of dollars to guarantee capital for emerging, minority-owned businesses, ensuring they can compete with larger, well-capitalized firms. We’ve partnered with financial institutions to award more than 15 loans since the fund’s creation and will continue to help small businesses gain access to capital in the future

Small Business Pull Quote

More developers should join in and follow Related's compassion and leadership in this fight to make things better and more inclusive.
Owen Pittman
Partner at MIKK- MBE, Section 3

Spotlight Carousel - Related in the Community

Community Investments
Community Investments
Kid-designed playspace

Related Midwest and The Related Affordable Foundation partnered with KABOOM, a nonprofit organization focused on ending playspace inequity, to create a kid-designed playspace at the Southern Hills property offering families a safe and dynamic place to play. 

Community Investments
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Community Investments

Bennett Park is one of Chicago's first privately-owned, public parks. Designed by by Michael Van Valenkenburgh Associates, the landscape architect behind Maggie Daley Park and The 606 Trail in Chicago, as a "escape within the city." This Streeterville neighborhood pocket park features 1.7 acres of idyllic gardens including meandering pathways, a shady grove, a lawn bowl for gatherings and an inspired children's park and dog park.

Community Investments
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Community Investments

Covering 5 acres, the open space at Lathrop sits at the heart of the community and includes the revitalized 2-acre Great Lawn and the Elizabeth Wood Park children’s playground with creative playscapes and hand-painted interactive fencing. The riverfront at the historic Julia C. Lathrop Homes was reimagined to encourage engagement with the Chicago River, featuring a pedestrian riverwalk with pathways, bridges, a circular dog park and a dock with a boat launch for the public to enjoy.

Community Investments
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Community Investments

When complete, The 78 will feature a public park that follows the Chicago River’s original flow through the site. The Crescent Park will connect to bustling Wells Street and the Riverwalk and offer recreational opportunities and year-round programming for all ages.

Community Investments
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Community Investments
DuSable Park

Building upon our previous investments in the public realm, a landscaped extension of the Riverwalk will pass under Lake Shore Drive and, for the first time, provide pedestrian access to the lakefront and the new DuSable Park from downtown Chicago. DuSable Park, part 400 Lake Shore Drive, will honor the legacy of Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable, Chicago’s founding father.

Our Community Programs

Our Community Programs
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Lathrop Woodshop Collective

The Lathrop Woodshop Collective is a grassroots group of artisans housed in a Lathrop makerspace that repurpose wood felled by the redevelopment. The Collective designed and fashioned tables branded with the Lathrop Lumber logo for use at the Hexe Coffee neighborhood café. The group also used reclaimed wood in the design of the neighborhood playground and hosts ongoing workshops for Lathrop residents.

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Art on Sedgwick

Art on Sedgwick, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering creativity and connecting the Old Town neighborhood and community through the power of art, is located in a retail space of our Marshall Field Garden Apartments community. Art on Sedgwick helps to foster arts related programming between residents at Marshall Field and the broader surrounding neighborhood.

Spotlight feature - Community investments

Spotlight on: Giving Back
Spotlight on: Giving Back
Related Affordable Foundation College Scholarship

We congratulate Kemarion Bryant, longtime resident of Related Affordable property, Parkway Gardens, on receiving the Related Affordable Foundation college scholarship. Kemarion will be attending Northern Illinois University this fall, majoring in performing arts. Related Affordable Foundation’s Scholarship program invites high school seniors who reside at Related Affordable properties to apply for scholarships to support their pursuit of higher education at trade and technical schools, colleges, and universities.


Spotlight on: Giving back
Spotlight on: Giving back
Veteran Roasters

We have partnered with Veteran Roasters, a veteran-owned company, as Related Midwest’s coffee provider. The veteran-owned and staffed coffee brand sources, roasts, and distributes its own coffee beans, cold brew and other coffee products from its Chicago-area roastery and warehouse. We are proud to brew Veteran Roasters in office and on site daily.

Spotlight on: Giving Back
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Spotlight on: Giving Back
After School Matters

This year we continued our 10-year partnership with After School Matters, the nonprofit organization providing life-changing after-school and summer program opportunities to nearly 19,000 Chicago high school teens each year. These programs assist teens in exploring their passions and developing their talents while gaining critical skills for work, college, and beyond. We are thrilled to support the youth in Chicago through After School Matters.