PORTAGE PARK — A controversial 98-unit senior apartment building near the Six Corners Shopping District will get a $3.3 million city loan, the City Council agreed Wednesday.
Although the project has the support of Ald. John Arena (45th), the four-story building at 4117 N. Kilpatrick Ave. has drawn fire from nearby homeowners who say it is too big for their neighborhood of about 90 single-family homes.
In addition, the project will get $1.5 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the city, which the developer, The Renaissance Companies, will use to help borrow $15 million to finance construction, which is expected to begin in the fall and take 18 months to complete.
Eighty-one units in the complex, near the Union Pacific railroad tracks and a Jewel grocery store, will be reserved for residents making no more than 60 percent of the area's median income. The median income in Portage Park is about $53,500 a year, which means the apartments will only be available to those 55 or older making less than about $32,000 a year.
The council also agreed to use $900,000 from the city's Low Income Housing Trust Fund to set aside another 10 units for seniors making less than 30 percent of the area's median income, or about $16,000.
The complex will include studio, one- and two-bedroom units as well as a sun room, fitness center, library and community garden. Plans call for 34 parking spaces, as required by the city's code.
In December, the Chicago Plan Commission agreed to change the zoning on the 1.14-acre vacant parcel of land to allow the complex to be built there instead of 12 single-family homes as originally planned. The development stalled during the Great Recession.
Members of the Triangle Homeowners Association have said they were concerned the $21.4 million project would clog the streets of their neighborhood with traffic and take up all of the street parking spaces.
Others said they were concerned the large building would flood their homes with stormwater and overwhelm the area’s electricity grid.
Arena said he supported the project because it would allow seniors who live in Portage Park and Jefferson Park to grow old near their friends and neighbors, and fill a burgeoning demand for senior housing.
The complex's proximity to Six Corners will also encourage seniors to walk to nearby stores and use public transportation, Arena said.