Affordable-housing deal picked for city-owned land near Harold Washington Library

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The 20-story building proposed by The Community Builders and Studio Gang is on the right in this rendering. On the left is the Harold Washington Library.
The 20-story building proposed by The Community Builders and Studio Gang is on the right in this rendering. On the left is the Harold Washington Library. | Provided

The team will build 207 units, provide space for minority-owned restaurants and kick in $2 million for Pritzker Park.

A proposal for 207 units of affordable housing near the Harold Washington Library and $2 million of improvements at nearby Pritzker Park was endorsed Tuesday by city officials.

The city-owned land is at the northeast corner of Van Buren Street and Plymouth Court. It offered the site last year as part of an international competition to encourage carbon-neutral design.

Chosen for the project from among five applications was The Community Builders working with architect Jeanne Gang’s firm, Studio Gang. The team proposed a $102 million, 20-story building.

In exchange for getting the land for $1, the team will build studios to two-bedroom apartments priced for tenants earning between 30% and 80% of the area’s median income. There also will be a food hall for minority-owned restaurants, office space for nonprofits and a produce grocer.

The area’s median income, according to the federal government, is $65,300 for a single person and $93,200 for a family of four.

City officials said the land was appraised at $7.95 million. It includes a parking garage and vacant land.

The developers have agreed to provide $2 million for improvements at Pritzker Park such as a spray fountain and a community stage. The park abuts the city-owned site.

In announcing the selection, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the winning proposal will address the city’s shortage of affordable housing while invigorating Pritzker Park. The project is expected to generate 530 temporary and permanent jobs.

Sale of the property and any rezoning is subject to City Council approval. Groundbreaking could occur late this year, officials said. They said the building will be constructed with an innovative low-carbon concrete mix.

Other firms involved in the winning proposal include DesignBridge, JAQ, dbHMS and Thornton Tomasetti. Each proposal was reviewed at a virtual community meeting in May.


Chicago Department of Planning and Development
The development site at Plymouth Court and Van Buren Street, with Pritzker Park shown on the west side of State Street.

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June 15, 2021 at 04:11PM

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