After years of planning, the major overhaul and redevelopment of the Julia C. Lathrop Homes along the Chicago River’s North Branch is moving on to the construction stage. According to an announcement from First Ward Alderman Proco Joe Moreno, a formal groundbreaking ceremony will bring members from development partners Related Midwest, Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation and Heartland Housing together at the site tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m. Collectively, the developers form the Lathrop Community Partners, the formal entity tapped by the Chicago Housing Authority to oversee the public housing development’s overhaul.
Originally approved by the Chicago Plan Commission in February 2016, the final plan will see the total delivery of 401 public housing (CHA) units, 212 units of affordable housing (ARO), and 503 residences rented at market rate over the 32-acre site. The total of 1,116 mixed-income units will be delivered over a series of phases that will take several years to complete. In addition to the overhauled residential units, the reimagined Lathrop Homes will also see the delivery of new retail spaces, a overhaul courtyard, and an updated riverwalk.
Tweaks were made following a flap last year with the National Parks Service which authorizes the use of Historic Rehab Tax Credits. The threat of losing millions of dollars in federal historic preservation tax credits sent the redevelopment team, headed by real estate giant Related Midwest, back to the drawing board. Eventually, a pair of new mid-rise buildings designed by bKL Architecture were scrapped to preserve Lathrop’s original administration building at Clybourn and Diversey as well as an existing apartment block at Damen and Diversey.
The first construction permit for the Lathrop redevelopment was issued this past June, allowing for a new six-story, 59-unit structure at 2737 N. Hoyne Avenue. Located south of Diversey, the new mid-rise building will eventually be joined by a second, similarly-sized development to its immediate west. The Lathrop Homes master plan will see the demolition of existing buildings and new construction on the site south of Diversey Parkway while the collection of 14 original buildings north of Diversey will be preserved and renovated.
According to Alderman Moreno’s announcement, the first phase of the Lathrop redevelopment will deliver 151 units public housing, 91 affordable units, and 161 market rate apartments. The mixed-income residences are planned to be scattered throughout the various buildings. In addition, Moreno has partnered with the Chicago Housing Authority to see that another 525 public housing units are eventually delivered throughout the North Side—a figure that comes from the number of original CHA units that will not be returning to Lathrop.
- First new building of Lathrop Homes redevelopment scores construction permit [Curbed Chicago]
- Revised Lathrop plan ditches ‘signature’ buildings for more conservative design [Curbed Chicago]
- National Parks Service pushes back on Lathrop plan [Curbed Chicago]