A cohort of Black-owned construction companies stands to benefit from helping build the new $350 million Obama Presidential Center (OPC) in South Side Chicago.
Firms Brown & Momen, Powers & Sons Construction, UJAMAA Construction and Safeway Construction are all part of the Lakeside Alliance, a joint venture hand–selected by the Obama Foundation to serve as the construction manager for the OPC, Black Enterprise reported. The foundation is giving the minority firms with operations on the city’s South and West sides with a 51 percent stake in the project.
Turner Construction, one of the largest construction companies in the nation, is also part of the alliance and will receive a 49 percent stake.
The partnership is a major opportunity for the minority firms, as they’ll be working as majority stakeholder and prime contractors on the massive project as opposed to sub-contractors, the magazine noted. Not to mention it falls in line with President Obama’s continued mission of embracing and supporting Black-owned businesses.
“The Obama Foundation believes in creating opportunities for diverse and local businesses and building pathways to meaningful jobs for minorities and other underrepresented populations,” said David Simas, CEO of the Obama Foundation.
According to a press release, members of the Lakeside Alliance are committed to exceeding industry standards by awarding up to half of the expected $300 million plus of subcontracts on the project to other diverse firms. Moreover, the alliance is working to make sure that a significant chunk of the hours spent working on the project are performed by minorities and residents of the surrounding communities.
“We’re honored to help construct the Obama Presidential Center, which promises to be an iconic institution that will attract visitors from the South Side and around the world,” said Mamon Powers Jr. of Power & Sons Construction. “If it weren’t for the Obama Foundation embracing this unique joint venture and making local hiring a priority, diverse South Side firms like ours would not get the chance to have a seat at the table and play a meaningful role in the process.
“We applaud the Obama Foundation for their vision and look forward to working with them to increase diverse participation in the construction industry,” he added.
Groundbreaking on the project is scheduled for later this year.