PILSEN — After some neighbors said they were concerned plans for a $20 million affordable housing building could speed up gentrification in Pilsen, the Resurrection Project will pitch revised plans for the development Wednesday.
The Pilsen-based nonprofit, which previously aimed to build a six-story, 45-unit affordable housing building at 1850 S. Racine Ave., will present new plans at 6 p.m. Wednesday at 1854 S. Racine Ave. The new plan comes after residents shared their concerns in two meetings earlier this summer.
Last month, the group unveiled renderings of the Skender-designed building. At the time, some residents said that the building was too tall and dense for the block. It could “set off a gold rush on 18th Street” and along Racine spurring more developers coming in to building large-scale developments, one neighbor worried.
Other residents said that the affordable housing development was “cookie-cutter” and “out of character” with the neighborhood. And some neighbors said they thought the affordable units are needed in the changing neighborhood.
The Resurrection Project first debuted plans for the building at 19th Street and Racine Avenue at a meeting in July. The building would include a mix of 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments and would serve people making between $17,000 to $50,000.
As previously proposed, the building would also include a community amenity area and 31 parking spaces.
Pilsen is suffering as longtime residents are displaced, said Veronica Gonzalez, vice president of real estate at the Resurrection Project, and adding new “permanent affordable units” aims to allay neighbors’ gentrification fears.
“This development is TRP’s anti-displacement strategy. It’s an opportunity to serve those families that we find are most vulnerable and most at risk of displacement,” Gonzalez said at a previous meeting.
When asked if he’d support the project in August, Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) declined to say.
“We want to support more affordable housing,” Sigcho-Lopez said, but he is also taking into account the concerns of nearby residents.
Last year, the Resurrection Project pitched a plan to convert the old St. Vitus Church property into a 42-unit affordable housing development but the project was delayed by preservation issues and concerns from neighbors.
The Resurrection Project currently operates 330 affordable housing units across its Pilsen properties. Those buildings include: Casa Morelos, 2015 S. Morgan St.; Casa Guanajuato, 1313 W. 19th St.; Casa Guerrero, 963 W. Cullerton St.; and Casa Monterrey, 967 W. 19th St.
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