Focus Feature: Enhancing Community One Development at a Time

28 November 2018

At Focus we understand the importance of community. Understanding how people will engage with our work when we’re done is where we start. Buildings aren’t self-contained; they live in existing environments that touch people daily. At the intersection of individual and shared space is Focus’ commitment to positively shape experience and encourage community. With every project we take on, we put an emphasis on strengthening the community we’re contributing too.

With every one of our projects, we take the time to get to know the people we are working with. What drives this community? How can Focus give back in some way? How can we incorporate and include the community in this development?

At Focus, our community development principles are strong and heartfelt. We are 100% dedicated to strengthening communities all across Chicago. Here is exactly how we’ve done that in the past few years:

Understanding the Needs of the Community

At Focus, we put a huge emphasis on listening. When starting any project, we listen to the needs of the community. We sit down with community members and make sure that our developments are contributing positively to the overall context of the community.

We enhance our relationships with community leaders, so we can truly understand the community in and out. Our goal is to develop around the community’s needs, not bull-doze through them. We want to make sure that every design we create and develop truly enhances a community. Whether this is as simple as including a parking garage or as complex as designing the building to blend with the surrounding aesthetics, we do whatever it takes to do our part in enhancing the community.

Incorporating the Community into the Design

To further the development of the community, we work to involve the key stakeholders at every step of the process. After listening to their concerns, we turn to the community to see how we can involve them every step of the way.

Whether this is simply employing locals or providing a space for local vendors, we’re dedicated to enhancing the community from start to finish

Examples of Enhanced Community

Year in and year out, Focus enhances communities all over Chicagoland in neighborhoods from the north shore so the south loop.

Kelmscott Park Lake Forest:

When introducing a recent Lake Forest project, we asked the community what was important to them. They responded by saying how much they value open space. Based on this feedback, we decided the best way to deliver on this request was to incorporate underground parking. This way the land is not cluttered with parking lots and cars. This decision allowed our teams to incorporate large open spaces with pocket gardens, interconnected walkways and amenity spaces that are not only available for use by residents but also connects the development to the larger Lake Forest community with the suburban downtown mere steps away.

Scio at the Medical District:

Our recent project in the Medical District of Chicago near Little Italy gave us a very unique opportunity. At Focus, we brainstormed ways to give back to this community. After significant deliberation, we landed on the idea of incorporating local artist’s work into the development. The local flair helps bring meaning to the design which brings the space to life.

At Focus, we understand the importance of leaving a place better off than when we arrived. We take pride in enhancing communities all over Chicago and encourage you to be a part of it too. For more information on how we give back to the communities we partner with, contact us today!

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