HUMBOLDT PARK — Zoning for a 12-building affordable housing complex in Humboldt Park and Logan Square has gained approval from the city’s Zoning Committee, a decision affordable housing advocates on the Northwest Side are celebrating as a win this week.
Six of the complex’s 12 buildings, all within a mile of the future Bloomingdale Trail, passed in committee Tuesday. The remaining four lots are expected to pass at the city’s next zoning meeting, according to Latin United Community Housing Association executive director Juan Carlos Linares.
The set of buildings dubbed Tierra Linda came with support from Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) and a vocal group of community members despite a series of heated meetings in October.
Moreno and several residents also appeared at the zoning meeting, both in support of and opposition to the proposal. As discussed at the October meeting, concerns included parking availability and density, while supporters argued that the project would bring diversity and affordability to the neighborhood.
"One impetus for Tierra Linda was the continual displacement of working families from Humboldt Park and Logan Square," Linares said Wednesday. "Residents like these have been involved in every step of the development process, including helping us earn aldermanic support for which LUCHA Is thankful."
Tuesday's zoning vote paves the way for more than half of the final Tierra Linda proposal — all in the 1st Ward. But four of the remaining lots — mostly in the 26th Ward — will need approval at the city's next zoning meeting.
LUCHA already owns six of the 12 lots and approval will not be required for two of those.
If approved in full, LUCHA will complete the process of designing the complex, finding gap funding and interviewing general contractors for the project, an open-bid selection that will require approval from the city, according to Linares.
Construction will then be expected to start in early 2016, with apartments turned over for rental nine months later.
If successful as planned, all 12 buildings will meet "Enterprise Green" standards and one of the 12 buildings will be a "passive house," a rigorous energy-efficient building method and the first of its kind in Chicago, according to Linares.
The project will cost a preliminary total of around $17 million — including the $9 million in tax credits — according to Juan Linares, executive director at LUCHA. Openings will be available to individuals and families making 50 percent of median income.
Lots that received approval Tuesday include a set of proposed three-flat buildings at 1929 N. Drake Ave., 1808-10 N. Kedzie Ave., 1802 N. Sawyer Ave., 1822 N. Sawyer Ave. and 1858 N. Spaulding Ave., as well as a proposed six-flat buildings at 1834-38 N. Sawyer Ave.
The remaining four lots pending approval are located at 1812 N. Drake Ave., 1757 N. Drake Ave., 1749-51 N. Drake Ave. and 1649-51 N. Drake Ave.
Lots already owned by LUCHA, but planned as part of Tierra Linda are located at 1822 N. Sawyer Ave., 1834-38 N. Sawyer Ave., 1812 N. Drake Ave., 1757 N. Drake Ave., 1749-51 N. Drake Ave. and 1649-51 N. Drake Ave. A total of 43 affordable housing units will be included in the project.
A separate affordable housing complex, the 65th Infantry Borinqueneers Building, was approved for construction in Humboldt Park Tuesday at a full City Council vote.
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