LAKEVIEW — The few tenants who remain in the Chateau Hotel have until Friday to leave after a judge's ruling last week.
The building's new owners, 3838 North Broadway LLC, bought it this past winter and soon issued tenants eviction notices with plans to gut the Chateau, clean the building up and hike rent by more than 50 percent at the single room occupancy hotel, where tenants pay $575 a month at most.
On Thursday, a judge issued a vacate order to four tenants remaining in three units. They have until midnight Friday to leave.
Attorney Alan Mills of the Uptown People’s Law Center, who represented two of the tenants, said his clients and the other two tenants took an undisclosed amount of money from the building’s new owners as part of a settlement, which will help with their housing search. But his clients, two men, don’t know if they will be able to stay on the North Side or not, Mills said.
“There is very little affordable housing in the city as a whole,” Mills said. “And closing a building that has about 150 units of very affordable housing is an extreme blow to this already tight market. In addition, anywhere outside Uptown, the only such housing that is available in the vast majority of the city is racially segregated, and Chicago is already one of the most segregated cities in the country.”
One of the owners of the building is real estate developer Jamie Purcell of BJB Properties. BJB is also the building's property manager.
The new owners and the office of Ald. James Cappleman (46th) had been working to help tenants find housing elsewhere. Cappleman's office has said that a lot of the folks remaining in the Chateau had various barriers to finding housing, including criminal backgrounds and multiple evictions.
But Jennifer Ritter, executive director of the Lakeview Action Coalition, said people hoping to stay on the North Side “are having a really hard time,” finding housing and some have resorted to shelters.
“Hopefully no one will end up homeless...but we do know historically when these buildings are vacated, people do end up homeless,” Ritter said.
Single room occupancy buildings have declined in number on the North Side in recent years, and the issue has sparked a tense debate between housing activists, developers and officials. LAC estimates that nearly 2,000 units of affordable housing were lost on the North Side in the past three years, and has railed against developers buying distressed buildings and then hiking rents.
LAC said it is in discussions with Jamie Purcell, Cappleman and other officials about using some subsidies to help retain at least a portion of the units as affordable housing.
“We hope for something positive where the building can be improved and still provide some affordable housing,” Ritter said.