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Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

110 Affordable Apartments Proposed For Corner Across From Howard Street Red Line Station

"It's not every day you get someone who wants to build 100 percent affordable," Ald. Maria Hadden said. "This is a wonderful opportunity, and I think this is exactly what the neighborhood needs."

Renderings of a proposed 110-unit affordable housing development in Rogers Park.
Courtesy Cordogan Clark/49th Ward Office
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ROGERS PARK — A $30 million, six-story affordable apartment building could replace a retail strip and storage facility at a prominent Howard Street intersection under a development proposal.

Development group Housing For All wants to build 110 affordable apartments and ground-floor retail at the northeast corner of Howard and Paulina streets, directly across from the Red Line, according to plans shared by Ald. Maria Hadden’s 49th Ward office.

The project would move forward in two phases and require state and likely city funding, said Shelly Tucciarelli, a developer with Housing For All.

If that funding is secured and the project gets approved, the development would bring family-sized affordable housing and a sizable economic investment to a Howard Street corridor that has struggled with violence and disinvestment.

“We really thought that [location] would be fabulous for affordable housing,” Tucciarelli said. “It would really change the area.”

Housing For All’s plan would include 16 studio apartments, 24 one-bedrooms, 42 two-bedrooms and 28 three-bedrooms, according to plans shared by Hadden’s office.

Eighty-eight of the 110 units would be reserved for households making at or below 60 percent of the area median income, or $43,800 for a household of one. The remaining units would be earmarked for households making at or less than 30 percent of the median income, or $21,900 for a household of one.

Ten percent of all units would be fully accessible, while others can be converted to more accessible setups, according to the plans.

There would also be 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

Credit: Courtesy Cordogan Clark/49th Ward Office
Renderings of the proposed affordable housing development at Howard and Paulina streets in Rogers Park.

The six-story development would replace a single-story retail strip at 1646-1660 W. Howard St. that holds a currency exchange, Post Office and Redz Belizean Restaurant.

The project will also require the demolition of the Werner Bros. Storage building, a warehouse at 7613 N. Paulina St. designed by architect George S. Kinglsey and built in 1921. The building is listed as “orange-rated” in the city’s historical survey, requiring a review of the building and development plans before a demolition permit is approved.

The Werner building can’t be redeveloped into housing because some of the floors do not meet ceiling height requirements for housing units, Tucciarelli said. The warehouse is mostly vacant.

The development would move forward in two phases, with the first phase replacing the Howard Street retail building followed by a building on the Werner Bros. site. There would be 55 apartments built in the first phase.

An initial application for low-income housing tax credits for the first phase of the project was submitted last week to the Illinois Housing Development Authority, Tucciarelli said.

Tucciarelli is a longtime developer who is helping build affordable housing catering to Indigenous people at a site in Irving Park. She also spent 20 years working at the Illinois Housing Development Authority, where she managed the low-income housing tax credit program, she said.

Tucciarelli heads up Housing For All, a joint venture of real estate principals with specialties in architecture, development and financing. Some of Housing For All’s principals recently helped bring an affordable housing development to Jefferson Park.

Housing For All is building a 47-unit affordable housing development in suburban Aurora that will adaptively reuse two historical schools. One of the property owners involved in that project also owns the Rogers Park parcels at Howard and Paulina streets, Tucciarelli said.

The property owner asked the development team if they would be interested in building in Rogers Park, to which they said yes, she said.

Credit: Google Maps
Renderings of the proposed affordable housing development at Howard and Paulina streets in Rogers Park. The historical Werner building is seen rising behind the retail strip.

If funding is secured and the project approved, work could start in late 2023, with the first move-ins by late 2025, Hadden said.

The project does not need a rezoning, but it does require “planned development” approval from the city due to its size, Hadden said. Early meetings between the development team and Howard-area stakeholders have been held and more are scheduled, she said.

A community-wide meeting on the project will be held later this year, Hadden said.

The project’s location next to the Howard Street Red Line stop makes it an ideal place to add dense housing, Hadden said. It also helps meet demand for family-sized housing that is affordable to working-class neighbors after years of development that favored studios and small units, she said.

“It’s not every day you get someone who wants to build 100 percent affordable,” Hadden said. “This is a wonderful opportunity, and I think this is exactly what the neighborhood needs.”

For more on the development proposal, click here.

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