BRIDGEPORT — Owners of a 41-unit single-room occupancy building in Bridgeport are hoping that its eventual buyer will keep it dedicated to affordable housing, the broker of the property said.
The 12,500-square-foot building at 3022 S. Archer Ave. is listed for sale for $1.9 million and is being touted to potential buyers as a high-yield investment opportunity.
The nondescript building sits wedged between the Stevenson Expy. and a recently installed electronic billboard. It is currently owned by a corporation with a partner who is nearing retirement age and hoping to roll back his investment portfolio.
“He’s looking to take some money off the table and slow down his pace a little bit,” broker Scott Siegel said.
A bare-bones style of housing intended for those earning significantly less than the area median income, SROs typically cater to individuals who might otherwise find themselves homeless. As is common in SROs, the Archer Avenue building features small apartments with communal bathrooms and kitchens.
While its precise future is uncertain, Siegel said the building’s current owners hope any eventual buyer will commit to preserving its supply of affordable apartments.
“It’s been positioned [on the market] as an SRO with the anticipation that a future buyer would keep it as such,” he said. “There’s no anticipation that current residents will be disrupted in any way.”
Units in the building rent for about $485 per month. The property currently houses between 40 and 50 people who live on the bottom three floors. An unfinished fourth floor has the potential to be renovated and converted into additional apartments.
The building is close to several bus lines and the Ashland Avenue Orange Line stop.
“It’s very convenient for the residents, and that’s always a big draw,” Siegel said.
An online listing of the property boasts an investment rate of return of about 9 percent based on annual rent generated. The listing goes on to describe the sale as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity.”
While the building is expected to remain an SRO, the conversion of several similar Chicago properties to market-rate apartment buildings recently prompted affordable housing advocates to lobby for the passage of an SRO preservation ordinance.
The new measure, which places strict requirements on owners looking to sell their properties, was approved by the Chicago City Council earlier this month.
SRO owners will now be required to engage in “good-faith negotiations” with buyers who would keep at least a portion of the property dedicated to low-income housing or, alternatively, pay a fee into an affordable housing fund in order to bypass those requirements and sell their building outright.
Siegel said the new regulations would likely complicate the sale for any buyer hoping to shift the building away from its historic affordable housing function.
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