LINCOLN SQUARE — An affordable housing project that’s been at the center of fierce debates among neighbors, the local alderman and city officials took a critical step this week toward becoming a reality.
The Chicago Plan Commission approved plans Thursday for a six-story, 63-unit affordable housing project at 4715 N. Western Ave. Developer Community Builders is behind the project, which has been in the works for two years.
The housing is planned for a metered parking lot across from the Brown Line station. The latest proposal also includes ground-floor commercial space and 18 public parking spaces.
The proposal still requires approval from the City Council’s zoning committee and the City Council. Ald. Matt Martin (47th) said he hopes the committee can review the nonprofit developer’s proposal before the end of the year.
The affordable housing development was first announced in 2020 and been revised multiple times.
Community Builders was pre-approved for highly competitive tax credits in December 2021 after two years of tense community meetings on bringing low-cost units to the increasingly expensive area while maintaining business district parking.
The city’s housing and planning departments approved an early version of the developer’s proposal last year but later said the developer needed to cut back parking and move the building’s entrance to secure final approval for the tax credits.
City leaders said at the time they did not want to use tax credits to subsidize so much public parking when their priority is maximizing affordable housing and encouraging public transit.
The latest compromise was ironed out in July after months of back-and-forth between the developer, neighbors, business owners, 47th Ward officials and city departments.