LOGAN SQUARE — A plan to build an all-affordable housing complex next to the Logan Square Blue Line station has won final approval.
The City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a plan to allocate $24 million in tax exempt bonds toward the project. It came after the City Council’s Finance Committee unanimously approved the move on Monday.
Wednesday’s vote marks the end of a months-long, multi-layer approval process. It’s also the culmination of years of organizing. Neighbors and Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), whose ward includes the site, have long seen the project as an opportunity to bring much-needed affordable housing to the gentrifying neighborhood.
“As I voted YES today I thought about the 100 families that are facing housing instability, exacerbated by this pandemic, that will one day soon have a dignified place to call home. I thought about the years of community activism and organizing that got us here today,” Ramirez-Rosa wrote on Twitter.
“It truly took people power and the collective efforts of a loving community to get us to this point today,” Ramirez-Rosa wrote. “But we cannot rest on our laurels, there is so much more to be done to continue to address housing instability, homelessness and displacement in our neighborhoods.”
Now, the nonprofit developer behind the project, Bickerdike Redevelopment Corp., can begin to chart a path toward construction, which could begin as early as July, according to Ramirez-Rosa.
Bickerdike’s plans call for an 100-unit, seven-story affordable housing complex at 2602-38 N. Emmett St., an underutilized, city-owned parking lot next to the Logan Square Blue Line station.The complex will include approximately 4,300 square feet of retail space facing Kedzie Avenue.
In total, the project is expected to cost about $40 million. In addition to tax exempt bonds and already-unlocked $10.1 in Tax Increment Finance (TIF) financing, the project is slated to get approximately $13 million in Chicago Housing Authority financing.
About half the units in the building will be earmarked for Chicago Housing Authority voucher holders, and the other half would be targeted to people making less than 60 percent of area median income.
The project has the emphatic support of Chicago Department of Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara and drew a largely favorable response at a well-attended community meeting, but has run up against resistance from a dedicated group of neighbors and local landlords, including prolific landlord Mark Fishman.
The opponents filed a lawsuit against Bickerdike and the city in late February, alleging the project violated neighbors’ “constitutional rights to be free of arbitrary and irrational zoning and finance decisions.” They also argue the project would have a “substantial…negative impact” because it would eliminate parking.
Both Bickerdike and the city argue the suit should be thrown out, but it is continuing to move forward.
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