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Near North Side, River North

Near North Side Housing Complex To Bring Affordable Apartments To Area — And A Former Cabrini-Green Resident Is Helping Build It

Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. said the mixed-income development will bring affordable housing and job opportunities to the Near North Side area.

Crews broke ground on a three-building, mixed-income rental community on Chicago's Near North Side on Wednesday.
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NEAR NORTH SIDE — Developers broke ground Wednesday on a new mixed-income rental community aimed at preserving affordable housing in the Near North Side.

When complete, the Schiller Place Apartments — located at 711, 731 and 749 W. Schiller St. — will consist of 48 rental apartments across three buildings. The new development is built on land that formerly housed the Isham YMCA.

The development is led by Structured Development, the firm behind NEWCITY, a 1,000,000-square-foot, mixed-use development located nearby at Clybourn and Halsted streets. The project is a joint venture with Evergreen Real Estate Group.

The Schiller Place development will have 24 Chicago Housing Authority properties, developers said. Eleven will be one- and two-bedroom units restricted to 60 percent of the area median income; five will be rented at 30 percent area median income; and eight units will be rented at unrestricted market rates, according to J. Michael Drew, founding principal of Structured Development.

Apartments will feature dishwashers as well as in-unit stackable washers and dryers, according to a press release. Each building will have a buzzer entrance and elevator, with 18 onsite parking spaces for the entire development.

The entire project is expected to be completed in early 2022.

Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th), who grew up near the project’s site, said the development will bring affordable housing and job opportunities to the neighborhood.

“Many years ago, Structured Development came to me … and made a commitment that they would build some affordable housing over here on the NEWCITY development,” Burnett said.

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Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th)

At the time, Drew was on the board for the YMCA, Burnett said, and the two made a deal that if Drew built a YMCA on the city’s West Side, the alderman would approve for housing to go on the project’s site.

Some of that housing would have to be affordable or designated CHA property, Burnett said.

“So now that agreement is getting ready to be fulfilled, and Mike … brought in a native from the community to be the prime contractor for this project,” Burnett said.

The contracting firm hired for the groundbreaking is GMA Construction Group, owned by Cornelius Griggs, a former Cabrini-Green resident who Burnett said often hires workers from within the neighboring community.

“This is a development that’s going to give folks housing — affordable and CHA — but also give folks an opportunity to work,” Burnett said. “I’m very excited about this.”

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A rendering of the Schiller Place apartments planned for the Near North Side.

Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.

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