LOGAN SQUARE — Protesters and residents who vow to fight to stay in their homes on the site of a proposed Logan Square development picketed in front of the building Thursday, but the landlord said he had no choice but to sell it.
There are six apartments on the site of what will become a "micro apartment" complex at 2328 N. California Ave., but residents of three have already moved, landlord Francisco Macias said.
Macias said high property taxes and low rents that he has been charging tenants since he bought the property seven years ago have made maintaining it impossible.
"I can’t keep up with the property anymore," Macias said. "Taxes are $24,000, and the rents that these people are paying are $500 or $600. In the area there are no rents for $500, $600."
The remaining three families on the property, which also includes a shuttered car wash, said they are being forced from their homes unfairly and that it will be impossible to find affordable housing in the neighborhood.
"We tried to find an apartment in order to obey the landlord who is telling us that he wants us to vacate the building, but we haven't found a place to go," said Adeline Silva, one of the tenants.
Macias also sold a building that includes a furniture store at 2342 N. California Ave.
The business is closing on Oct. 1 and moving into a storefront owned by Macias at 5046 W. Fullerton Ave. until the owners can find a new permanent location, according to Eva Juarez, whose brother runs the furniture store.
"I feel nervous because we lost our customers," she said about the move.
The developer, Savoy Development, already has received approval from the city to build the 138-unit apartment project on the site.
Macias, who said he grew up in Logan Square and still lives in the neighborhood, declined to disclose the sale price.
"I think the tenants are putting me in a hard spot by not paying their rent and keeping up with their end of the bargain," he said.
Macias said he has not raised the rents on any tenants since taking over the property seven years ago, but the property has begun to deteriorate.
Savoy Development said it hopes to break ground by the end of the year and have tenants move in by early 2018.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: