PILSEN — As the Resurrection Project debuted plans for a 14-unit affordable housing apartment building in Pilsen Thursday night, some neighbors said more family-sized units are needed in the area.
The nonprofit developer aims to build a four-story, transit-oriented building at 2008-2012 S. Ashland Ave. with a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments. The building would replace a former two-story medical office building and a vacant building.
The complex would include a first floor amenity space, laundry room, an outdoor green space, bicycle storage and five parking spaces, said Denise Reyes, real estate development associate with the Resurrection Project.
The apartment units would be available to people making between 50 and 60 percent of the area median income, or $31,850- $54,600, Reyes said.
Rents would range from $794- $1,159, which are set by the programs that fund the affordable units, she said.
The new building is an extension of the Resurrection Project’s 37-unit development at 1850 S. Racine Ave.
City officials challenged the nonprofit to add more affordable units to the Racine development. The group decided to build affordable units in a new building after pushback from neighbors who said their original 45 unit six-story building was too tall and had too few parking spaces for the neighborhood.
In total, the combined Racine and Ashland projects, called Casa Durango, would add 51 affordable units to the neighborhood, Reyes said.
“Developing this site is part of TRP’s strategy for combating displacement and reducing the affordable housing deficit,” Reyes said.
Many residents agreed more affordable units are needed in changing Pilsen. But they argued three-bedroom, family-sized units are needed to accommodate families that are being priced out.
“I feel like there’s a whole lot more families that could utilize three bedrooms versus one to two bedrooms,” Melva Aparicio said.
Other residents said more three-bedroom units would help bring more families into neighborhood schools struggling with declining enrollment.
Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) said there is a dire need for affordable housing for families in the area. While private developers are building studios and one-bedroom units, nonprofits like The Resurrection Project need to focus on the needs of existing families who require larger units, Sigcho-Lopez said.
“I hear you loud and clear on that,” the alderman said, calling on the nonprofit to go back to the drawing board.
Pilsen resident Miguel Chacon suggested green space be nixed so more units could be built on the property.
Some neighbors said they were concerned the plan would need to include more than five parking spaces so the development doesn’t make it significantly harder park on surrounding blocks.
The project was designed by Skender architect Antonia Ramos Muniz.
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