CHICAGO—Reverend Jesse L. Jackson and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition (RPC) honored Don Biernacki, Senior Vice President of Construction at Related Midwest, at the Annual Rainbow PUSH Coalition Convention. Biernacki shared Related Midwest’s vision for The 78— a 62-acre undeveloped parcel of land in downtown Chicago that will be transformed into a vibrant mixed-use community. The 78 will include residences, boutique retail options, curated restaurant offerings, cultural institutions and 4 million square feet of office space that will be home to major companies and organizations.
“The 78 will bring much-needed jobs to the South Side—even bringing work to those who otherwise might not be able to find it,” said Reverend Jackson, Founder and President of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. “I am proud to recognize the work of Don Biernacki and Related Midwest in strengthening the communities of the South Side.”
The 78 will also be home to the Discovery Partners Institute, a world-class research and innovation center, which will serve as a major technology research hub in the Midwest and attract talent from around the world. The 78 will create new roads, bike lanes, walking paths and waterfront access, helping to build a connection between downtown Chicago and Chicago’s South Side.
“The 78 will knit together the communities of Bronzeville, South Loop, Pilsen and Chinatown in a way that never existed before, and all of this investment will strengthen the South Side with extensive commerce and 10,000 jobs during and after construction,” Biernacki said. “This development is nothing short of a transformation that will bring employment, improve lives, and reinvigorate entire communities on the South Side forever.”
Related Midwest is known for its commitment to the community. Over the past 10 years, the company has awarded more than $228 million in contracts to women- and
minority-owned businesses ranging from landscaping to fencing to general construction. In addition, Related Midwest provides mentorship, business support and training to community entrepreneurs with the goal of fostering growth in the communities that house its developments. At the recently renovated Marshall Field Garden Apartment Homes, a 628-unit affordable housing community in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood, more than 25 percent of the full- and part-time positions were filled by local residents, including six apprenticeships with the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134.
Biernacki has been with Related Midwest for nearly 30 years and has overseen the construction of every major development at the company including OneEleven, 500 Lake Shore Drive and Park Tower, as well as the renovation of affordable housing properties such as the historical Julia C. Lathrop Homes in Lakeview and the award-winning Marshall Field Garden Apartments in Old Town.