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This summer the City of Chicago invited the Chicago Architecture Center to organize an open Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify Chicago design firms to be considered for upcoming projects connected to Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot’s INVEST South/West neighborhood improvement initiative. The massive $750 million reinvestment in the urban fabric of Chicago’s South and West Side communities will focus on small- and mid-scale projects along commercial corridors and heavily trafficked intersections. The Pre-Qualified List of Design Services Firms we announce here is part of a broader initiative by the City’s Department of Planning and Development to advance design excellence in all new projects across the city, from skyline-defining investments downtown to civic and commercial investments in neighborhoods and residential districts.

Congratulations to those design teams that made the inaugural Pre-Qualified List. The open-call RFQ was extremely competitive, yielding nearly 200 responses from across greater Chicago. The depth and breadth of firms responding demonstrates the local design industry’s passionate interest in strengthening our hometown, and it is sure to impel the City to refresh this list from time to time to always keep on the lookout for top talent. We hope this resource inspires developers to respond to INVEST South/West opportunities with some of the very best design talent Chicago has to offer.


This RFQ process, including CAC’s role as Project Manager, is supported primarily by a grant from the Pritzker Traubert Foundation.