University Village Association (UVA), founded in 1981, is a community development organization located on Chicago’s Near West Side in the historic Little Italy neighborhood. University Village Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, serves the Chicago community.
UVA, founded in 1981, is a community development organization located in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood. UVA’s mission is to further the development and enhancement of our community by supporting initiatives that address commercial, residential, institutional, economic and cultural needs.
As the Near West Side community continues to grow so does UVA and its community. UVA services the area bounded roughly by the Eisenhower Expressway to the north, 16th Street to the south, Western Avenue to the west and the Chicago River to the east. Our location neighbors Downtown Chicago and is readily accessible by all modes of public transportation, taxi and the Eisenhower, Dan Ryan and Kennedy Expressways.
For over a century, immigrants seeking fortune and new opportunities brought their rich heritage to Chicago and settled in what would become known as the Little Italy neighborhood. Italians, Greeks, French, Jews, Hispanics and African-Americans all came to Taylor Street to establish businesses and create a new way of life for themselves. Thanks to their efforts and vision, today many Chicago area residents can trace their family history to the near West Side.
The University Village community derives its name from the adjacent learning institutions. The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), which anchors the community to the east, is a center for higher learning as well as culture, athletics and academic excellence.
On the west side of the community is the Illinois Medical District (IMD), home to major institutions that provide medical services, education and research. Those institutions are Rush University Medical Center, University of Illinois Medical Center, John H. Stroger, Jr. (Cook County) Hospital and the Jesse Brown Veteran’s Administration West Side Hospital.
Beautiful parks and museums, world class medical and educational institutions, nationally renowned restaurants, retail businesses, exceptional residential housing, diverse places of worship and many other opportunities welcome visitors, new residents and businesses to our community. The University Village Association and its members are proud to call the Near West Side our home.