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New six-story affordable housing development headed to Back of the Yards

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The project will deliver 30 affordable rate rental units to the northeast corner of Spaulding and 47th


A new six-story building featuring 30 family-oriented affordable housing units is about to break ground in the Back of the Yards/Brighton Park community on Chicago’s south west side, according to a recently issued construction permit. Dubbed “El Zocalo,” the project is designed by Chicago’s UrbanWork Architecture and developed by a partnership between UP Development and the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council (BYNC). The latter group’s office of economic development previously occupied the future location of the building, just down the street from the recently-approved Esperanza Brighton Park Health Center designed by JGMA.

The development will contain nine one-bedroom units, ten 2-bedroom units, and 11 three-bedroom units. Amenities include a community room, a property management office, 22 parking spaces, and 2,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space. Set aside for community-focused uses, the first floor is anticipated to be occupied by a pair of Head Start classrooms and/or a dance studio for BYNC’s “Ballet Folklorico” group.

The El Zocalo project is financed through $6.7 million of tax credit equity from the National Equity Fund, a $1.8 million first mortgage from IHDA, and roughly $2.9 million in local TIF money. According to the architect’s website, construction is expected to be wrapped up sometime in 2017.

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