A 100 percent affordable apartment proposal next to the Logan Square Blue Line stop cleared a key zoning hurdle on Thursday as it earned the approval of the Chicago Plan Commission.
The transit-oriented development calls for 100 affordable rental units—half will be for CHA residents and the other reserved for residents earning at or below 60 percent of the area median income—plus ground-floor commercial space, a community room, a small public plaza, and parking for 20 vehicles. It comes from nonprofit developer Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation and Chicago-based Landon Bone Baker Architects.
Plan Commission unanimously approves a 100-unit affordable housing development at 2602 N. Emmett St., immediately adjacent to the @CTA Blue Line stop at #LoganSquare. Half the units will be for @theCHAtweets residents, half for households below 60 percent Area Median Income. pic.twitter.com/TbAk9klEVZ— Chicago DPD (@ChicagoDPD) October 17, 2019
Slated for a city-owned lot at 2638 N. Emmett Street, the seven-story project received support of 35th Ward Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa back in May after his office heard “overwhelming support” from the community. With the Plan Commission’s backing, 2638 N. Emmett can now head to the full Chicago City Council for final approval.
During the Plan Commission meeting, people who spoke against the project said the existing parking lot was crucial for neighbors and what kind of revenue the city would lose without it. Supporters criticized these comments and emphasized the value of affordable housing in city where low-income housing is shrinking.
Now a supporter of the development speaks: "We hear a lot about the value of this land, but what's missing is the unquantifiable value of affordable housing." The chamber erupts in cheers.— Alex Nitkin (@AlexNitkin) October 17, 2019
Bickerdike hopes to break ground in spring 2020 and complete the development in 2021. Funding for the project would come from a variety of sources including the Chicago Housing Authority, housing tax credits, and the Fullerton/Milwaukee Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district.
Thursday’s meeting of the Plan Commission comes one day after the City Council voted to formally appoint Chicago’s new Department of Planning and Development Commissioner Maurice Cox. The urban designer and educator previously served as Detroit’s development commissioner before accepting his latest role as Chicago’s top planner.
“Maurice Cox is uniquely qualified to help create a city where development addresses the fundamental needs of every neighborhood so that Chicago benefits and equitably works for all its residents,” said Mayor Lightfoot in a statement on Wednesday.
Although 2638 N. Emmett Street has been in the works for many months, the affordable development’s approval on the Commissioner’s second official day represents a step toward achieving the mayor’s goal of bringing equitable developments to all of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods.