LAKEVIEW — The remaining low-income tenants at Lakeview's shuttering Chateau Hotel will be placed in "safe, affordable housing," both in the 46th Ward and outside the area, Ald. James Cappleman's office said.
There are between 50 and 60 tenants remaining in 45 units of the the single room occupancy hotel, which was purchased by a land trust composed of various investors, 3838 North Broadway, and will be managed by Jamie Purcell's BJB Properties, according to Cappleman's office.
Purcell's company also bought the Astor House in Rogers Park and the Abbott Hotel in Lakeview. Affordable housing advocates accused the developer of attempting to kick out low-income tenants and hike up rents on the North Side, but both Cappleman's office and Purcell's brother, Robert, said BJB is working to get people into safe, affordable housing.
Cappleman's chief of staff Tressa Feher said the alderman has been working with Catholic Charities, the city and the new owners on a relocation plan for the tenants, and they ultimately decided to place some in other buildings leased by BJB, which manages about 40 properties across Chicago.
Feher would not comment on estimated rents, building locations or a timeline for the moves, but said more details would be coming soon. But she said, "These are places they can afford."
Feher said "a lot of remaining folks had various barriers," to finding housing, including multiple evictions and criminal backgrounds. She acknowledged there has been a lot of tension in the community about the Chateau's new owner since the mostly low-income residents were issued eviction notices from the building, where rent will soon more than double.
Feher said when the office began efforts to relocate people, tenants "were finding housing fairly quickly." And then "all of the sudden there was kind of a plateau," she said.
"And that's when we said, 'You know what, the remaining folks, they need a little bit extra attention. We all need to get on the same page about this.' And that's why we did this," Feher said. "Our concern from the beginning was that everyone in the 46th Ward have a safe place to live. And the conditions there are not safe and what we consider habitable."
The building originally had 138 units, and an undetermined number of occupants, possibly because of shoddy recordkeeping and cash transactions without formal leases, Feher said. She did not have details about where people in the other units were moved.
On Friday, housing activists with the Lakeview Action Coalition are scheduled to meet with BJB's Purcell, sources said.
Contributing: Serena Dai