WOODLAWN — Developers and housing officials cut the ribbon on the Burnham on Thursday, breaking the 400-unit mark for the redevelopment of Grove Parc Plaza.
With the opening of 65 one- and two-bedroom senior units on Thursday, Preservation for Affordable Housing has successfully completed redeveloping two full blocks of Grove Parc, the 504-unit Section 8 housing development that was marked for closure in 2007.
At the opening Thursday, former Grove Parc residents who were returning to Cottage Grove praised the development team’s commitment to involving former residents in the redevelopment.
“You see those paintings on the wall? Our children did those,” said Margaret Brewer, who lived in the former apartments and just moved into the Burnham. “Everything we had input in.”
Residents said they got a say in what the neighboring garden with its mums and barbecues looked like and other details in the building at 6134 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
“We worked with the architects and they included us and now our apartment isn’t just an apartment, it’s our home,” Brewer said.
The opening of the new building also provides a permanent home for the Woodlawn Resource Center, a job readiness program that had been working out of a former PayLess Shoe Source at 63rd Street and Cottage Grove.
Ald. Willie Cochran (20th) made it clear that he saw 10 years of planning for the neighborhood’s future coming to fruition and it was time to again to start dreaming big about the next plans for Woodlawn.
“Let’s keep this ball moving in the right direction,” Cochran said.
The redevelopment of Grove Parc is not finished. Plans call for more market-rate apartments and a total final unit count of 504 apartments.
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