LOGAN SQUARE — A nonprofit developer wants to convert a Logan Square church into an all-affordable housing project.
Latin United Community Housing Assocation, or LUCHA, is looking to buy Humboldt Park United Methodist Church at 2122 N. Mozart St. and create about 20 affordable units inside, according to Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st). La Spata said the developer plans to retain the church exterior as is.
The church pastor didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment Wednesday, but a church official confirmed the congregation is considering selling the building to LUCHA to make way for affordable housing.
The congregation is still operating out of the building, though no in-person services are being held due to the pandemic, the church official said. In addition to a sanctuary, the church is currently home to 11 affordable apartments run by the congregation, he said.
Reached Wednesday, LUCHA’s executive director Lissette Castañeda declined to comment and instead encouraged neighbors to attend a virtual community meeting Sept. 14 for more information.
Neighbors who want to participate in the meeting should RSVP by emailing La Spata’s office directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
In recent years, church conversions have become popular among developers in Chicago. Many empty churches have been converted into condos, apartments and single-family homes. One church, in Logan Square, was converted into a circus school in 2015.
“I think it’s a really special project. I think so much of the time what happens to these older churches is they get converted to luxury condos,” La Spata said, noting that’s what happened to the church where he got married, the nearly 120-year-old Episcopal Church of the Advent.
“To have a church building that is telling such a different story where it’s going to be functioning in the future as housing for working families and individuals at risk of displacement from our community — that’s a special thing. It’s a really great new way to go with these properties and I’m really excited by the opportunity to bring this to the community,” La Spata said.
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