On November 1, CARA headquarters is moving to Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood at 1100 W. Cermak Road. The move will provide a space that better meets CARA’s operational needs while also reducing expenses.
Since September of 2006, CARA’s headquarters has been located in the West Loop of Chicago at 549 W. Randolph Street.
With the move, CARA will experience a decrease in total rent expense by more than 60%. The move contributes to the organization's larger strategic effort over the past two years to reduce the organization’s general operating expenses.
“Over time, these savings will allow the organization to advance our mission based work even more than we already are,” says Greg Hipp, CARA’s Executive Director.
Since 2017, CARA’s total operating expenses had already been reduced by almost 25%. These prior moves have allowed the organization to eliminate debt and rebuild reserves after experiencing financial losses between 2014 and 2016.
“Ensuring that CARA is in a position to serve the running community for our next 40 years has taken a lot of hard work by CARA staff, our Board of Directors, and member leadership,”' says Hipp.
As CARA has made big moves to become financially stable over recent years, it has also experienced significant improvement and growth.
Membership has reached an all-time high of over 10,000. CARA training program participation reached a five-year high this year. CARA has expanded the ‘Go Run program, which provides weekly free-timed 5K and 1 mile events in underserved parks around Chicago, to nearly year-round.
Member benefits have expanded in 2019 with the creation of the Group Run Network, Member Speedwork, and an increase in the number of member race discounts available by more than 20%. CARA also launched its new mobile app in spring of 2019, providing a new tool for Chicagoland runners to connect with local running opportunities.
Additionally, CARA’s Wintrust Lakefront 10 Miler & 5K been selected as the 2020 RRCA National 10-Mile Championship. And in 2020, CARA will launch its new Honda Miles Per Hour run in collaboration with the Chicago Auto Show.
“It’s an exciting time to be part of the CARA community. We still have a lot to accomplish, and we need member support now more than ever to keep moving forward,” says Hipp. “The success of CARA, and what we can do for the running community, is a direct result of the support of our members, and their commitment to year-after-year membership.”
CARA’s office will be closed from October 28 to October 31 in order to complete the move to Pilsen. CARA’s programming schedule will not be affected during the move.
Beginning November 1, visitors to the new office should enter from the building’s Cermak Road door where they will need to be buzzed in. Metered parking is available on Cermak Road, and free street parking is available on side streets surrounding the building. CARA phone numbers will not be affected by the move.
CARA’s new address:
Chicago Area Runners Association
1100 W. Cermak Rd., #231
Chicago, IL 60608