UPTOWN — The involvement by apartment developer FLATS Chicago in the North Side real estate game has been controversial but, regardless, the buildings are accepting applications and will soon be open, according to officials.
Activists in some North Side neighborhoods have blasted the company for buying distressed properties that housed low-income residents, remodeling the buildings and then hiking rent beyond what poor people can afford.
A FLATS Chicago spokesman said the buildings will begin to open in April, with additional buildings opening throughout 2013. There will be studios, one bedroom apartments and two bedroom apartments, with rents ranging from $800-$1,500, according to FLATS Chicago.
The first opening will be in Lincoln Park, at 2500 N. Clybourn Ave. FLATS Chicago did not have dates yet for openings in Uptown, Edgewater and Rogers Park, which also have FLATS Chicago sites being prepared for inhabitance.
In January, activists marched on the Gold Coast home of FLATS Chicago partner Jay Michael in protest. Ald. James Cappleman (46th) has expressed support for Michael, who also sits on an advisory council for Uptown United, Uptown's economic development organization.
"There's an assumption that developers have all the money in the world, but developers, especially market rate developers, have to make a profit," Cappleman told DNAinfo.com Chicago in January, saying that FLATS Chicago purchased buildings that required a hefty investment to rehab.
Michael "will keep these rents affordable for people in their 20s and 30s who have a new job and are just starting out," as well as seniors, Cappleman added.
To find more information or be placed on a wait list, visit the FLATS Chicago website.