On the North Center section of Irving Park Road, just east of Horner and Revere Parks, a new affordable housing proposal looms. We give it an ominous air because that's how a large component of the neighborhood sees it. However, Alderman Ameya Pawar assured constituents in a lengthy and impassioned defense last week that, should the 71-unit project proceed, it would be 'market based' affordable housing— with rents proportioned to 60% of the area median income (AMI). According to Pawar, that means it'll target young workers and 'talent', not the voucher-dependent. None of this has deterred some community members from circulating a gently-fear mongering, unsigned flyer condemning the review process.
We're in no way celebrating the early design (PDF) by LISEC Architects: you couldn't dream up a more sterile 5-story slab. But quality rental housing for $800-$900/month is important to preserve, particularly on the North Side. Doesn't hurt that the area already has good urban density and the transit to support it. This whole case could prove moot, anyway: the landowner is in negotiations with another developer seeking to build market-rate condos on the site. Hey, either way, let's clear out some of those lifeless one-story industrial buildings that make this a forbidding stretch.
·Irving Park Apartment Development Stirs Neighbors [Welles Park Bulldog]
·Ald. Pawar's Newsletter [47th Ward]
·Drawings and Site Plan [LISEC Architects]