300 Apartments Near Obama Center Will Remain Affordable For Decades As Jackson Park Terrace Sells For $25 Million

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WOODLAWN — A sprawling apartment complex next to the Obama Presidential Center will remain affordable through the middle of the century and receive $4 million in needed renovations, its new owners said.

The 318-unit Jackson Park Terrace Apartments, 6040 S. Harper Ave. in Woodlawn, were sold for $25 million to Jonathan Rose Companies and Preservation of Affordable Housing, the companies announced Thursday.

The new owners will spend $4 million to upgrade the property’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, make needed structural repairs and address deferred maintenance.

Jackson Park Terrace was built in 1973 by the Woodlawn Community Development Corporation, the real estate arm of developer Leon Finney‘s The Woodlawn Organization.

“We feel that it is both an obligation and a privilege to preserve this historic development,” Nathan Taft, a partner at Jonathan Rose Companies, said in a statement.

“It is perhaps ironic that Jackson Park Terrace was created to provide affordable housing that the private market would not [while] the need now is to protect this valuable asset from market pressures,” Taft said.

The commitment to maintain affordable housing at Jackson Park Terrace comes as Woodlawn residents work to prevent displacement amid the Obama Center’s construction. Their effort led to the city’s approval of housing protections for Woodlawn last fall.

Preservation of Affordable Housing purchased the Island Terrace Apartments — just a few blocks down Stony Island Avenue from Jackson Park Terrace last July. The nonprofit pledged to make all 240 units at Island Terrace affordable for renters making 30 to 80 percent of the area median income.

“The purchase of Jackson Park Terrace and a guarantee of long-term affordability and further investment is gratifying, and I hope a model for others drawn to Woodlawn at this time of renewal,” Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) said in a statement.

A court-appointed trustee took ownership of Jackson Park Terrace and East Lake Management took over its daily operations after Finney’s death in 2020, according to the Chicago Business Journal.

Finney and Apostolic Church of God‘s Bishop Arthur Brazier “took a chance” and invested all they had — not only to provide affordable housing in Woodlawn, but to keep the community itself alive and hopeful,” Brazier’s son and Apostolic Church pastor Byron Brazier said in a statement.

“With Rose and POAH joining those of us who want to ensure that Woodlawn is [a] diverse and vibrant community … I am confident that we can realize the [Woodlawn Community Development Corporation’s] ambitious goals from a half-century ago,” Brazier said.

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August 4, 2022 at 02:15PM

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