HUMBOLDT PARK — A Humboldt Park alderman who pushed policies to fight gentrification along The 606’s Bloomingdale Trail has put his trail-adjacent home on the market for nearly $2.4 million.
Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) listed his 6,400-square-foot, six-bedroom house in the 1700 block of North Troy Street this week. It’s near a trail’s entrance and spans three city lots, according to a real estate listing. It features a grand staircase with a large chandelier, a theater room and a two-and-a-half-car garage.
Maldonado built the house in 2009 before the construction of the Bloomingdale Trail, but now he stands to profit from the popular walking and biking path — for the second time. The alderman flipped four properties along the trail in 2015, pocketing $300,000.
The veteran alderman has long championed policies to slow gentrification along The 606’s Bloomingdale Trail. Most recently, Maldonado was among a group of Northwest Side alderman who pushed an anti-gentrification ordinance that imposes fees on developers who demolish naturally occurring affordable housing along the trail.
The ordinance aims to prevent large single-family homes from being built and preserve existing two- and four-flat apartment buildings in an effort to keep Latino residents in their homes.
“This is a moral issue,” Maldonado said during a city hearing last March. “… The purpose behind all of this, we hope, is to stop gentrification, stop development and stop displacing us.”
Reached by phone, Maldonado told Block Club Chicago he’s selling his house to help fund his kids’ education, including that of his eldest son, who is headed to medical school.
“The market is good. I want to take advantage of that so I can help my kids,” he said.
The alderman said it’s also an attempt to downsize. His wife, Nancy, died from cancer six years ago, and his kids are getting older, he said.
“We don’t need 6,400 square feet for three of us. We’ll be more than happy to live in a nice house half the size,” Maldonado said.
Maldonado Says He Is Running For Reelection
In recent months, rumors have swirled that Maldonado didn’t plan to run for reelection next year.
But in an interview with Block Club, Maldonado said he is running, squashing the rumors.
“In this era of fake news and misinformation, how can you be surprised about comments and made up stories like those?” he asked.
Before he worked in government, Maldonado worked as a Chicago Public Schools psychologist and launched a mortgage banking firm. He served as Cook County Commissioner of the 8th District for 15 years before then-Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed him 26th Ward alderman in 2009.
Maldonado said he’s running for reelection in large part because he’s passionate about bringing more affordable housing to gentrifying Humboldt Park. Under his tenure, the neighborhood has gained 410 affordable housing units, which is close to his goal of 485 units, he said.
Maldonado said he’s also in the process of “making sure the future boundaries [of the 26th Ward] are really reflective of our culture, that it will be a Latino ward.” The Humboldt Park alderman is an active member of the Latino Caucus, which has been fighting for more representation under Chicago’s new ward map.
Maldonado has not bought a new house in the ward, but he plans to soon, he said.
“We’ve been planning on this for months. I’m searching the ward,” Maldonado said. “I’m going to live in the ward … because I’m running for reelection.”
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: