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CHICAGO — A pair of childhood friends is working to transform a block on the city’s South Side and they received a lot of help from the Cook County Land Bank Authority

The landscape is changing in the 6500 block of S. Evans Ave. in West Woodlawn. 

Sean Harden and his childhood friend Lamell McMorris are the driving force behind Woodlawn Pointe. Their firm Greenlining Realty USA has developed nine homes on the block, just steps away from where McMorris grew up. 

“It was really important that we had a big block strong strategy that really said to everyone new investment is coming, come back into West Woodlawn,” said Harden, Managing Partner and Director of Real Estate and Construction for Greenlining Realty USA.

Harden says the Cook County Land Bank Authority was a critical partner to assemble the land.

“The authority was created in 2013 to address vacant and tax-delinquent properties throughout Cook County spurred on by the foreclosure crisis,” said Executive Director Eleanor Gorski. “We are able to take possession of these properties, wiping away liens and taxes and putting them back into productive use.”

Gaynor Hall and photojournalist Patrick Parmenter report in this WGN-TV Cover Story.