The Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF) and associated bonus program was created in 2016 to "encourage commercial development in neighborhoods lacking private investment" in Chicago.
Downtown developers pay into the fund in exchange for zoning bonuses (to make their buildings taller or denser). The funds can be spent on eligible projects in these "Investment Zones".
Small business owners can apply for grants
Round 1 applications were due between February 27, and April 21, 2017.
Round 2 applications are due between August 2, 2017 and October 2, 2017.
There have been 13 projects so far (as of February 25, 2017), which are paying nearly $12 million.
The investment zones were selected by the City of Chicago based upon an analysis by researcher Elizabeth C. Delmelle and her paper Mapping the DNA of Urban Neighborhoods: Clustering Longitudinal Sequences of Neighborhood Socioeconomic Change ( pdf).
Each investment zone on this map, provided by the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, is a Census Tract and was assigned a typology after incorporating the changes of 12 factors of neighborhood change between 1970 and 2010 (see typologies on the right).
The nine typologies of these Investment Zones are:
The paper presents 12 typologies, but these Investment Zones are a subset of Delmelle's geographic analysis. CityLab summarized the paper