Who We Are

Greater Southwest Development Corporation (GSDC) is a community development agency based in the City of Chicago whose primary goal is to improve the quality of life in southwest Chicago through entrepreneurial, commercial and residential real estate development, as well as a variety of business and residential resources.

Did you know? The Citi Foundation recently announced that GSDC was selected as the recipient of a $500,000 grant as part of the 2018 Community Progress Makers Fund. The Fund is a $20 million, two-year initiative by the Citi Foundation to support high-impact community organizations that are driving economic opportunities in our communities by bringing together residents, nonprofits, businesses and municipal agencies. We are so excited to reinvest, develop new programs and expand existing ones. We’re going to keep investing in technology and we’re going to develop new and significant real estate projects. We’re here to ensure new businesses have strong resources to support their growth.

  • Our vision: A thriving southwest Chicago community.
  • Our mission: To be a catalyst for creating and maintaining a vital southwest Chicago community by empowering, building and sustaining development that raises the quality of life for our neighborhood residents, businesses and industries.

GSDC was formed in 1974 as a result of organizing efforts to hold banks accountable for the growing disinvestment in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood.  At the time, the area was experiencing violent racial conflicts and GSDC’s early efforts were largely focused on easing racial tensions and stimulating economic investment.  Today, the Chicago Lawn neighborhood reflects a diverse community and GSDC’s work over the years has contributed to the area’s continued level of economic investment.  

GSDC’s key initiatives have resulted in over $500 million in development activity, including 248 units of senior rental housing; the rehabilitation of abandoned single family homes for sale to first-time home buyers; generated $100 million in retail development; and cleaned a 60-acre brown field site to allow construction of a manufacturing site. Most recently GSDC completed a 40 bed domestic violence shelter, transforming a Chicago Police Department Station and an empty lot into a beautiful facility.

GSDC currently operates as a three-pillared organization, focused on commercial services, senior housing services and real estate development.

We maintain our commitment to respecting diversity and providing inclusivity for all immigrants and groups of people—regardless of their immigration status, heritage, faith, or otherwise.

As service providers in a Sanctuary City, we extend our services to all residents, including undocumented immigrants. We must all do our part to ensure our neighbors, family members and clients know they continue to be welcome across Chicago, and that they have equal access to all City services and opportunities. Learn more.