A new housing development in Rogers Park aims to bring affordable apartments to residents and take the place of an empty lot, according to 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore.
The project broke ground Oct. 12 at North Clark Street and West Estes Avenue, about a mile and a half from Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus (LSC), according to a statement from Moore. The lot was previously home to the Adelphi Theater, which was demolished in 2006 to make room for a condo development. That development fell through during the great recession, and the lot has remained empty since, according to the statement.
Scheduled to be completed and house tenants by the end of next year, the building will include 54 residential units and 3,300 square feet of retail space.
Developer Doug Ross applied for low-income housing tax credits, awarded by the Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD) — which oversees growth and sustainability in Chicago’s neighborhoods — to fund the project, according to Moore. The apartments wouldn’t be affordable without the award, Moore said in an interview with The Phoenix.
“[The tax credits are] basically a way of getting funding to do affordable housing, and it’s a very competitive process,” Moore said. “We were very fortunate that this development was one of the few developments that did receive city tax credits.”
Of the 54 residential units in the development, 42 will be reserved for residents at or below 60 percent of area median income, according to Moore’s statement. For a single person, 60 percent area median income is around $35,500 and is around $50,000 for a family of four, according to DPD.
The 12 remaining units will be reserved for residents at or below 30 percent area median income, according to Moore’s statement. For a single person this is about $18,000 a year and about $25,500 a year for a family of four, according to DPD.
The development will help maintain the 49th Ward’s goal of keeping Rogers Park economically diverse, and it will get rid of the “eyesore” the empty lot had become, Moore said.
Shawn Mangan graduated from Loyola in 2016 and said he’s lived in Rogers Park for 14 years, just about two blocks away from the Clark-Estes site. Mangan said he’s happy the construction will provide affordable housing and cover an empty lot.
“I am glad it’s going there, it’s been a hole in the ground for 10 years or something, and I am glad there is [affordable] housing there because rents are getting pricier so it’s a good option for people who might not have as much income,” Mangan said.
Mangan said the main concern he’s heard from neighbors is parking. He said with more residents moving into the neighborhood, less parking may be available for those currently in the area.
There are currently four affordable housing developments recognized by the DPD in Rogers Park: Wayne Street Apartments, Morse Senior Apartments, Wayne Senior Living and James Sneider Apartments. Wayne Street Apartments is supportive housing, which aims to enable formerly homeless families and individuals, and the other three are senior living, according to DPD’s website.
Each complex, besides James Sneider Apartments, is located a little over half a mile from the LSC. The James Sneider Apartments are about two miles from campus.
Moore said with any major construction project, he asks the developers to open a hotline for community members to voice concerns regarding construction, such as possible safety issues. Residents can contact Jim Welgarz at email@example.com or 847-498-4949 extension 117.
DPD and Ross did not respond to request for comment