LAKEVIEW — A controversial Lathrop Homes housing development now calls for some 100 fewer units than previously announced, developers said.
An earlier plan for the mixed-use, mixed income development proposed 1,600 units and then was reduced to 1,300 units after community criticism. At Tuesday's West Lake View Neighbors meeting, a developer and a Chicago Housing Authority representative cited less than 1,200 units as the likely number.
"We've refined," said Veronica Gonzalez, from CHA. "We're well below [1,300] now."
Kerry Dickson, senior vice president of Related Midwest, a member of of the five-party Lathrop Community Partners development group, presented the original three schemes for Julia C. Lathrop Homes to neighbors, none of whom had attended initial open houses.
Original schemes feature a mix of housing, retail and public space.
Currently, the 32-acre property near Clybourn Ave and Diversey Parkway has 900 units that are largely unoccupied, and the corner already experiences congestion.
Originally, CHA recommended between 800 and 1,200 units for the development.
"We are on the higher side of that," Dickson said.
Density has been a sore point in discussions about the proposed development. Critics, including Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd), say the sharp increase in population will further cause problems for the residents and surrounding neighborhood, from parking and traffic to schools for the influx of children.
CHA requires that 400 of the units be public housing, so the flexible factor is what percentage of the rest of the units will be market rate versus affordable.
Most likely, the development will offer a little bit more market rate housing than affordable since "you need to have a critical mass of market rate housing in order for that particular income level to be successful," Dickson said.
The plan is to have parking available for every market rate unit and lower the parking ratios for public and affordable housing, he said.
"We’re not creating this isolated site that’s not connected to the rest of the community," Dickson said. "One way to do that is to make sure all of our income levels are successful."
Developers will be presenting a more finalized plan that combines the three schemes in the next few weeks, they said.
The first phase of construction probably won't start until the end of 2014, Dickson said.
"We still have a ways to go until we finish the master plan," he said.