After years of grumbling, developers learn to live with Lightfoot’s affordable housing rules – Crain’s

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After grumbling for years about the city’s affordable housing rules—known as the Affordable Requirements Ordinance, or ARO—residential developers have found a way to live with them even after the City Council passed tougher regulations last year.  

That’s because lawmakers in Springfield also last year approved generous property tax breaks for residential projects with a 20% affordable set-aside. Combined with the state’s carrot, the city’s regulatory stick now works a lot better. Projects that wouldn’t have made financial sense without the tax incentive do now.  

“There is terrific alignment between the ARO and the state legislation,” says Chicago attorney Rich Klawiter, partner and co-vice chair of the U.S. real estate practice at DLA Piper.

It’s way too early to declare victory, but the numbers are adding up in the West Loop, where developers will complete about 3,500 apartments between now and the end of 2024, with nearly 9,000 more in the planning phase, according to Integra Realty Resources, an appraisal and consulting firm.  

To comply with the revised ARO and qualify for tax abatements, numerous developers this year have filed zoning applications with the city for projects in the West Loop that include all 20% of their affordable units on-site. That includes a 305-unit tower that Chicago-based Shapack Partners plans at Fulton and Ada streets and a 271-unit building that Cedar Street, another Chicago developer, is proposing for the current site of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

 

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November 19, 2022 at 07:39PM

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