LOGAN SQUARE — A long-discussed plan to build a huge affordable housing complex and a public park on the western end of The 606’s Bloomingdale Trail is inching forward, with a community meeting planned for next month.
Latin United Community Housing, known as LUCHA, and Evergreen Real Estate Group want to redevelop the old Magid Glove factory site at 3745 W. Cortland St. into a three-building campus with just under 200 affordable apartments and a park, said Charlene Andreas, LUCHA’s director of affordable housing.
The development, dubbed Encuentro Square, is designed to combat gentrification-fueled displacement happening along The 606’s Bloomingdale Trail. It’s the latest proposal for the city-owned site, which has been primed for redevelopment for several years.
The developers are hosting a virtual community meeting on the proposal 6 p.m. Oct. 20. To register for the meeting, or sign up for updates, fill out the developers’ online survey.
The current proposal includes more affordable housing compared to previous iterations of the project. Last year, the developers’ proposal included 74 apartments, 54 of them affordable, according to the city’s housing department. The year before that, Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) said to expect 150 affordable apartments.
Under this plan, the development would be constructed in two phases: Two of the buildings would be built in the first phase, and the third would be built in the second phase, Andreas said.
Andreas declined to comment further, saying many of the details are still being worked out.
Typically, affordable housing projects require a patchwork of city, state and federal funding. It’s unclear how far along LUCHA and Evergreen Real Estate Group are in securing financing for the Logan Square project, which will determine when the development gets built.
But whatever the construction timeline, the development will bring new life to a 4.5-acre site that has languished for more than a decade.
The Magid Glove factory moved out in the late 2000s, leaving the buildings empty, Maldonado previously said.
In 2014, the Trust for Public Land, the private partner tapped by the Park District to help oversee The Bloomingdale Trail, bought the land with the goal of transforming it into an “access park” as part of The 606 network. The site sits at the westernmost end of the trail.
But those plans never came to fruition. In early 2019, the Trust for Public Land sold the site to the city for redevelopment, which is when LUCHA and Evergreen Real Estate Group got on board. Their project was awarded $1.5 million in federal tax credits last year.
Now, the project is moving into the community review process.
The city razed the factory buildings in February to make way for the affordable housing development, said Peter Strazzabosco, spokesman for the Department of Planning and Development.
Maldonado has said the development will be a “huge stabilizer” and allow “families to stay in our community, in a community that they have called home for so many decades.” Home prices have skyrocketed along the trail in recent years, according to a study by The Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University.
“All we see around The 606, in terms of new construction, is construction of market-rate housing,” Maldonado previously said. “Don’t working families have the right to also enjoy living in new affordable units near The 606?”
For more information about the project, email the developers at email@example.com or call 630-923-5316.
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