ENGLEWOOD — City Council approved a proposal to build new affordable apartments in Englewood on Wednesday.
The five-story, 56-unit apartment building will be built on city-owned vacant land at Halsted and 61st streets. The building will offer residents one- and two-bedroom apartments, 22 parking spaces and 44 bicycle spaces.
According to the proposal, 40 apartments will be marketed as affordable while 16 will be market-rate. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $21 million. Keith B. Key Enterprises, an Ohio-based real estate firm, will oversee the project.
Ald. Stephanie Coleman (16th) called the apartments extraordinary. She said the new development will enhance the nearby Englewood Square.
“…Not only is it our time, but it’s our turn for a $21 million investment,” Coleman said when the proposal was approved by the Plan Commission last week. “… This will be the gateway of new moderate, sexy, sleek development right there on Halsted to complement all of the retail and everything that is going on in Englewood. Englewood excellence because it is going to be extraordinary.”
Although the proposal has council backing, some planning commissioners scrutinized whether the price points for the apartments would be within reach for the income levels of the neighborhood.
When setting benchmarks for affordable housing, the city uses the Chicago metropolitan area to calculate area median income. That means income levels from the suburbs and cities like Naperville are also included, driving up the total. The AMI for a one-income household under this framework is $62,400.
But in Englewood, the median income is considerably lower than the AMI, according to city figures: $21,275.
Of the 40 affordable units of the Englewood project:
- 9 will be set aside as 30 percent of the area median income
- 5 will be set aside as 50 percent of the AMI
- 26 will be for 60 percent of the AMI.
More than half of Englewood households earn less than $25,000, according to CMAP. That could mean only the nine units would be affordable enough for the majority of the neighborhood’s residents, Commissioner Sarah Lyons said.
“It’s affordable, but who is it affordable to?” Lyons said.
KBK has yet to announce when they plan to break ground on the new building.
Coleman said the development will encourage Black residents to move to Englewood and stay.
“This is more than just a new building of affordable mixed rate,” Coleman said. “This will really stop the exodus of African Americans from not only leaving Englewood but leaving the city of Chicago. Young people will now have an option of quality of housing, and they will come back to our city and their home community.”
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