Want a grant to help ‘challenged’ neighborhood? Deadline to apply is Friday

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Ald. Danny Solis, and executives of CMK Cos. and Lend Lease break ground on Riverline, a South Loop development that paid $8.7 million to opt out of providing affordable housing. (David Matthews / DNAinfo)

DOWNTOWN — The deadline to apply for a business and development grant is Friday, as city officials begin using fees paid by Downtown developers to invest in projects on the South, Southwest and West sides.

The first grants from the $4 million Neighborhood Opportunity Fund are expected to be awarded this spring. The fund was created in May by charging developers additional fees in return for allowing them to build bigger and taller buildings Downtown. About a dozen developments have already paid into the fund.

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With the first applications available Monday at neighborhoodopportunityfund.com, the grants will cover as much as 65 percent of a project’s costs, according to the Mayor’s Office.

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