Uptown Affordable Housing Developments For Women Who Are Homeless, Low-Income Seniors Get City Approval

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UPTOWN — Housing for women experiencing homelessness and low-income older people received approval by the city Thursday to be built in Uptown.

The city’s Plan Commission gave final approval to two plans for affordable housing developments in Uptown, paving the way for 101 new affordable units in the neighborhood.

One of the developments will bring a 28-unit apartment building for women experiencing homelessness to 4737 N. Sheridan Road. The other will turn a vacant parcel at 835 W. Wilson Ave. into a 73-unit apartment complex for older people.

Each project needed approval under the city’s Lakefront Protection Ordinance, an extra layer of development scrutiny for projects near the lake. That approval was granted Thursday by the Plan Commission.

The two developments:

Credit: Courtesy Perkins + Will
Sarah’s Circle’s new building at 4737 N. Sheridan Rd. will include 28 permanent apartments for women experiencing homelessness.

Sarah’s Circle

Uptown-based nonprofit Sarah’s Circle received final approval for its plans to build 28 units of permanent housing for women experiencing homelessness at 4737 N. Sheridan Road.

The five-story building will include 28 studio apartments and office space for Sarah’s Circle employees. It will have meeting space, a demonstration kitchen and other program space for residents.

Sarah’s Circle works to end homelessness for women. This will be the nonprofit’s third housing project in Uptown. Last year, it opened a building at Sheridan Road and Leland Avenue that houses a 50-bed interim shelter and 38 apartments.

Seeking more apartments for women, Sarah’s Circle bought the parking lot at 4737 N. Sheridan Road for its latest project. The $16 million project will be funded several ways, including with a $3 million payment from the developer of a controversial apartment building coming to a Weiss Hospital parking lot.

The payment made to Sarah’s Circle allowed the Weiss developer to buy out 75 percent of its affordable housing requirement, and city officials sought to route the payment to Sarah’s Circle.

Some members of the public at the Plan Commission meeting blasted the funding mechanism and said the Weiss development will further gentrification in Uptown. City officials, including Ald. James Cappleman (46th), said the payment allows for more affordable housing in a neighborhood that’s attracting much market-rate development.

“It takes a lot of work to pull all the financing together for affordable housing,” Cappleman said.

Sarah’s Circle’s building could break ground in early 2022 and be move-in ready by early 2023, officials said previously.

Credit: Courtesy 46th Ward Office
A new, 73-unit senior apartment building is being proposed for 835 W. Wilson Ave.

Senior living

Brinshore Development’s plan to build a 73-unit affordable apartment building for older people got final approval from the Plan Commission. Brinshore is also the development partner in the Sarah’s Circle project.

The project will turn a vacant lot at 835 W. Wilson Ave. into a six-story apartment complex with 10 studios, 49 one-bedroom and 14 two-bedroom apartments. There will be 44 parking spaces and a resident roof deck connected to a second floor community room, among other amenities.

The 100 percent affordable housing development would earmark 20 units for households making at or below 30 percent of the area median income ($19,600 for a one-person household), 34 units for households making at or below 50 percent of the area median income ($32,600) and 19 units for households making at or below 80 percent median income ($52,500).

The $42 million development will be primarily funded by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, though some financing will come from the Lake View Towers, the association-run affordable apartment complex at 455 N. Clarendon Ave.

The partnership between the senior center and Lake View Towers will allow renters to age out of one affordable home and into another that’s just around the block, Cappleman said.

“It really is a win for everyone,” he said.

The building, which received zoning approval earlier this year, will be available to people 62 and older.

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December 17, 2021 at 08:40AM

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