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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

9-Story Affordable Housing Complex Could Come To Vacant Humboldt Park Lot As Part Of ‘Preserving Paseo Boricua’

Hispanic Housing Development Corp. is behind the proposal, which calls for 64 apartments, 3,221 square feet of retail and 47 parking spaces.

The development could soon rise on the empty lot at 1201-1209 N. California Ave.
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HUMBOLDT PARK — A nine-story affordable housing complex is being proposed for a long-vacant lot at California Avenue and Division Street.

Nonprofit developer Hispanic Housing Development Corp. is seeking a zoning change to build the complex at 1201-09 N. California Ave., according to a zoning letter sent to neighbors on March 9.

The developer’s proposal calls for 64 apartments, 3,221 square feet of retail space and 47 parking spaces.

The developer didn’t return messages seeking comment, but told Ald. Roberto Maldonado’s 26th Ward office “several months ago” to expect a unit mix of 39 three-bedroom apartments, 15 two-bedroom apartments and 10 one-bedroom apartments, according to Maldonado’s chief of staff, Kathleen Oskandy.

“This site is part of HHDC’s ‘Preserving Paseo Boricua’ development strategy, which seeks to provide a modicum of affordable rental housing stock for Humboldt Park’s most vulnerable populations,” the developer told the alderman’s office in an email.

“The elderly and working families of the Humboldt Park community face rapidly rising rents and a diminishing amount of choice in the area’s rental market. This development will help secure a more secure future for long-time community residents.”

It’s unclear if the project has Maldonado’s support. The alderman didn’t respond to requests for an interview.

In 2018, Chicago-based developer City Pads and “co-living” startup Common moved to build a “co-living” apartment complex geared toward millennials on the site. But that project was scrapped after the deal to buy the property fell through.

Hispanic Housing Development Corp. bought the empty lot for $1.2 million in February 2019, according to Cook County property records.

The 64-unit complex is one of a few development projects Hispanic Housing has planned in Humboldt Park.

The nonprofit developer tore down the La Casa Puertorriqueña building at 1237 N. California Ave with the goal of building a new apartment complex geared toward seniors and families in its place. It also has plans to build an 111-unit senior housing center on part of Roberto Clemente High School’s parking lot.

Hispanic Housing has built or improved more than 4,100 homes, apartments and condos since its founding in 1976, according to the developer’s website.

The developer’s veterans housing complex at 1045 N. Sacramento Ave. came under fire after several residents told Block Club Chicago that the building was falling apart and they weren’t getting the services they were promised, among other concerns. Conditions drastically improved after the Block Club report.

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