On January 18, Lendlease, one of the world leading construction management firms, partnered with Lathrop Community Partners – a joint partnership between Related Midwest, Bickerdike Redevelopment, and Heartland Alliance Housing – to host the Lathrop Homes Vendor Fair. The Vendor Fair served as a community engagement event to introduce the Lathrop Homes project to Section 3, Minority- and Women-Owned businesses and offer information on the bidding process.
The event featured special guest First Ward Alderman Joe Moreno, who spoke of the history of the project and the positive impact the renovation would have on the community. Other key speakers included Related Midwest’s Sarah Wick, Lendlease’s Peter Ousley and Scott Garland, Ujamaa Construction, Inc.’s Jimmy Akintonde, The Bowa Group’s Nosa Ehimwenman, and Primera Engineers’ Lourdes Gonzalez. Additionally, the Fair was supported by the Chicago Housing Authority, Communities Empowered Through Construction, and the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association, who offered information on Section 3 registration, hiring practices, and other relevant resources.
The event brought in approximately 230 attendees from over 180 local businesses. Presenters emphasized the project’s goal of supporting the community through local partnerships and transparency. Gonzalez explained that training and support would be provided to assist small businesses in meeting the project’s requirements, while Ousley and Ehimwenman stressed the importance of teamwork and collaboration in terms of meeting the project’s diversity goals.
After the presentation, attendees were given the opportunity to review the Lathrop Homes’ plans, ask questions of team members and support groups, and network with others businesses. “The project team is very excited to take this important step forward,” said Ousley, “The Lathrop Community Partners have professed their commitment to working with the community and key stakeholders to revitalize Lathrop Homes. The Alderman’s support of our shared vision has given the whole project a new energy.”