DOWNTOWN — A Pilsen nonprofit’s plan to build a $20 million affordable housing development in the neighborhood was approved by a key city committee Tuesday.
The city’s Committee on Zoning unanimously approved the Resurrection Project’s plans to build a five-story affordable housing building at 1850 S. Racine Ave. The Skender-designed building will include 37 apartments, 31 parking spaces and a ground floor amenity space for residents.
During the meeting, Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) showed his support for the project, saying he was “proud” of the development.
“The issue of affordable housing is a huge issue across the city, I’m glad to see this project coming forward,” Sigcho-Lopez said.
He noted that the building will be “open to the community at large, including the undocumented community, which today is having a really hard time.”
Under plans, 13 one-bedroom, 16 two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom apartments would be built at South 19th Street and West Racine Avenue.
In Pilsen, a historic port of entry for Mexican immigrants, many mixed-status families are in need of low-income housing, said Emma Lozano, pastor of Lincoln United Methodist Church, who supports the proposal.
Sarah Walker, a Pilsen resident and member of the organization Familia Latina Unida/Centro Sin Fronteras, said there were three likely possibilities for the future of the site: a vacant lot, affordable housing or luxury condos.
“The best option for the people who live in our ward, in our community, is the affordable housing project,” Walker said.
One resident who opposed the project said 37 apartments was too many for the site.
The Resurrection Project first announced plans for the building in July. The group initially pitched the project as a six story, 45 unit apartment building, but made adjustments after hearing concerns about density and parking issues.
During a community meeting earlier this summer, Veronica Gonzalez, vice president of real estate at the Resurrection Project, said Pilsen is suffering as longtime residents are being displaced.
“This development is one of 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.
If approved by City Council, construction on the building would begin by May 2021 and units would begin leasing by spring 2022.
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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