Sinai Health System

Ogden Commons
Chicago, IL
Project Facts
400 affordable housing units, medical office space

Sinai Health System
Chico Nunes
The Habitat Company
Cinespace Chicago
Chicago Housing Authority
Solomon Cordwell Buenz
McHugh Construction

Full Case Study:

Ogden Commons is a mixed-use development project supporting Sinai Health System’s core mission. As strategic advisor, Ascent provides guidance through planning and decision-making to support project success.

Client Background

Mount Sinai Hospital opened in 1919 as a 60-bed hospital that served immigrants and trained physicians. Today, it is the 319-bed anchor of the seven-institution Sinai Health System (Sinai). The System also includes:
– Holy Cross Hospital
– Sinai Children’s Hospital
– Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital
– Sinai Medical Group
– Sinai Community Institute
– Sinai Urban Health Institute
Sinai’s mission is to improve the health of the individuals and communities they serve and their vision is to become a national model for the delivery of urban health care.

About the Project

The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), who work with community stakeholders in Chicago to provide safe, affordable housing to low-income families, solicited proposals for the development of a plot of land in North Lawndale. Sinai is the largest employer and land owner in North Lawndale and as they considered the CHA opportunity, they partnered with Cinespace, the neighborhood’s second-largest employer. Cinespace is a 70-acre film campus responsible for shows such as Empire, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, and Chicago Med and movies such as Divergent and Transformers.
Seeing potential benefits to the health of the neighborhood and to both organizations, Sinai and Cinespace partnered with the Habitat Company to form a joint venture (JV) to propose the Ogden Commons development to CHA.

Across three development lots which will be completed in phases, Ogden Commons will improve community streetscapes and safety; provide 400 units of affordable, high-quality housing; establish potential housing for staff; and offer medical office space in the community. It will also provide local businesses opportunities to utilize new retail and commercial spaces. The JV selected Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) as the designers and McHugh Construction as the General Contractor.


The level of complexity of a 3-firm joint venture for a multi-phased, multi-use development is significant. Sinai recognized this and engaged Ascent to support their leadership team.

How does Ascent Help?
As an advocate for Sinai’s interests, Ascent (alongside legal advisors Chico Nunes) advises Sinai on all aspects of the joint venture and development planning.

Successful completion of Ogden Commons achieves two outcomes for Sinai:

– By providing affordable housing, improved streetscape and retail opportunities, it will contribute to the health of the local communities and create a more vibrant neighborhood for caregivers, patients and families served by Sinai

– By providing quality, community-based outpatient and office facilities it supports Sinai’s strategic goal to move and expand outpatient services to cost effective, contemporary facilities and thereby improve the patient experience. It also frees up hospital space to allow for reduced costs and improved hospital-based services

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