Basement Work Continues at Chicago Market

We're in the middle of more basement construction work and want to share it with you!

Our lease with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) includes the basement portion of our location at Wilson and Broadway. The Co-op's store design plans call for transforming that lower level into storage space, restrooms, offices, and conference rooms (click here for pdf of the basement plan).

Being ready for this basement use means we need a drain tile system in place along the inside perimeter of the basement that routes water to sump basins where pumps will move it out to the city's sewer system. 

[Team U.S. Waterproofing was out to do the work.]

"Seeing action like this (even if it's just one of many, many steps) really warms my heart because it is a step closer to making Chicago Market a reality for our Owners and the community as a whole!"

- Matthew Ruffi, Board President

[Trench creation starts with breaking up the concrete floor.]


[Equipment ranges from a pick axe to a 95 pound jack hammer.]

"Hard to explain just how crazy loud jackhammers are IN A BASEMENT....but wowzers, it's impressive. Sitting upstairs while they work, I've noticed that the drinks I have on the table have 'Jurassic Park-T-Rex is coming' type ripples in them all day."

- Matthew Ruffi


[Concrete chunks and the dirt beneath are shoveled into 5 gallon buckets.]


[A bucket brigade moves the buckets up the stairs to wheelbarrows, which are then rolled to the dump truck.]

[Time for lunch!]


[Views of the excavated trenches.]

[Precision placement and leveling of the sump basins is a critical step.]


[A second bucket brigade carries gravel down the stairs to surround the sump basins.]

[The trenches have rebar in them that needs to be sawed off.]


[Concrete is mixed in buckets, poured into the trenches, and spread by hand to provide a lining.]


[Prepping the pipes.]

There's more work to do and we'll keep you updated.

Thanks to our Owner volunteer Rick Baer for the photos, and step-by-step reporting!

What’s next for Chicago Market?

While it feels great to have physical work occurring at the building, we still have some important steps to complete before we can commence principal construction activities. These steps include moving our City grant award forward for review by the Chicago Community Development Commission and City Council. We’re also in dialogue with various banks to explore terms for a bank loan as an additional source of construction funding.

What can you do to help? If you’re not yet a Chicago Market Owner, join us; if you are, invite your friends and neighbors to sign up or consider Leveling Up from a Founding Owner to a Cultivating Owner. Every dollar that we as Owners contribute to the Co-op means less bank debt we’ll need and fewer costs going forward.

It’s so exciting to see our vision taking shape—let’s keep the momentum going!


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