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‘Translucent’ Washington Park artist residences clear key city hurdles

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The 58-unit housing development is slated for the corner of Garfield Blvd. and Michigan Ave.

Chicago Department of Planning and Development

An unusual looking four-story affordable housing development at 63 E. Garfield Blvd. on Chicago’s South Side is moving closer to becoming a reality. Also known as the KLEO Life Center, the Washington Park project comes from Chicago-based architect JGMA and Brinshore Development and is wrapped in a translucent facade designed to provide its residents ample sunlight during the day and give the structure an internal glow at night.

The development will include ground floor retail topped by 58 rental apartments. Marketed toward artists and families, 49 of the residential units will be offered at an affordable rate for households earning up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income. Plans also call for 32 parking spaces to be located on-site.

Earlier this month, the City of Chicago’s Community Development Commission approved a measure authorizing $6.5 million in TIF monies plus the sale of two city-owned parcels for $1 a piece to support the project. Meanwhile, the zoning change needed to build the structure was OK’d at the most recent meeting of the Chicago Plan Commission.