Developers are seeking to build 56 apartments at 61st and Halsted in Englewood. 40 of the units would be set aside as affordable. Credit: City of Chicago

ENGLEWOOD — City Council has finalized a proposal to develop affordable apartments in Englewood.

Alderpeople authorized the sale Tuesday of 35 city-owned properties and a corresponding redevelopment agreement with Ohio-based real estate firm Keith B. Key Enterprises.

The firm will build a new five-story apartment building on city-owned vacant land at Halsted and 61st streets, near the Englewood Square development. The 56-unit building will offer one- and two-bedroom apartments.

According to the proposal, 40 apartments will be set aside as “affordable,” while 16 will be market-rate. The building will also include an elevator, commercial space on the ground floor and 22 parking spaces.

The project is expected to cost about around $21 million. 

The development and land sale were approved by the Chicago Plan Commission in May. Some commissioners, however, questioned whether the “affordable” 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. Income levels from the suburbs and cities like Naperville are also included, driving up the total. The AMI for a one-income household under the 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.

Ald. Stephanie Coleman (16th) said in May the new apartments will bring a much-needed surge of residents to the area and encourage current neighbors to 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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Atavia Reed is a reporter for Block Club Chicago, covering the Englewood, Auburn Gresham and Chatham neighborhoods. Twitter @ataviawrotethis