Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation is seeking to build an all-affordable development at the Streets & San depot at 5853 N. Broadway. Credit: Google Maps

EDGEWATER — A nonprofit development group is looking to replace a Streets and Sanitation depot in Edgewater with more than 80 units of affordable housing, the local alderman said.

Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation has begun the process to buy the city property at 5853 N. Broadway and turn it into a 100-percent affordable housing complex, Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) announced Monday.

More than 80 apartments, including two- and three-bedroom units, could come to the site on Broadway near Thorndale Avenue, Osterman said. The city’s Department of Planning and Development has received Bickerdike’s land sale application for the Streets and Sanitation outpost and is reviewing the proposal, a department spokesperson said.

More details of the proposal will be shared at a community meeting hosted by Osterman’s office 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14. For more information on the meeting, click here.

The development is the culmination of years of work to get more affordable housing in Edgewater, where there has been a “strain” on housing costs and “loss of affordable housing,” Osterman said.

“It’s something the community has asked for,” Osterman said. “My goal is for there to be a 100-percent affordable development there in a key part of the ward.”

The housing development would replace Streets and Sanitation’s 48th Ward Yard. A spokesperson for the department said only “limited operations” are run out of the ward yard on Broadway, and operations will move to different yards as the project moves forward.

There is already a Streets and Sanitation yard at 6441 N. Ravenswood Ave. that serves the 49th and 50th wards.

As the ward yard on Broadway has been phased out, Osterman said his office eyed the site for development.

Located on Broadway and abutting the Red Line tracks, the site is near public transit and is zoned for higher density development. The fact that the property is city-owned makes it easier to find funding for an all-affordable project.

Osterman said he reached out to Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation to gauge its interest in building on the site. Bickerdike is wrapping up construction on the Emmett Street Apartments, an all-affordable housing project built on a formerly city-owned parking lot near the Logan Square Blue Line station.

Those talks led to Bickerdike submitting an application to buy the city yard at 5853 N. Broadway, Osterman said.

“This development could provide needed quality, affordable housing for families, aging adults, employees of locally owned businesses and working people,” the alderman said in his announcement.

Bickerdike is a community led development group that historically has brought affordable housing to Northwest Side neighborhoods like Logan Square, Humboldt Park and Avondale. Last weekend, the corporation’s members voted to expand Bickerdike’s service area to include much of the North Side as it seeks to help more communities battle issues like displacement.

“We’re excited to work with Alderman Harry Osterman and the residents of the 48th Ward to bring much-needed affordable housing to the community,” Bickerdike spokesperson Libby Julia-Vazquez said in a statement.

News of the Edgewater proposal came on the same day the city announced a $1 billion investment into 24 affordable housing projects. The Broadway proposal is not one of the projects receiving funding under the initiative, but another project in Osterman’s ward did get funding through newly announced allotment.

The Vietnamese Association of Illinois will receive city funds to turn its parking lot near the Argyle Red Line stop into an affordable housing development, Osterman said. The community group would need to partner with a developer on the project, so details on the scope of the proposal still need to be worked out, he said.

The Bickerdike project will seek tax credits and other public funding streams, said Osterman, the chair of the City Council’s housing committee. The project will also likely require a planned development application, which means it will need approval from the Plan Commission and the City Council.

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