WOODLAWN — Developers are rediscovering Woodlawn, with 30 single-family homes and town houses planned for the neighborhood.
The area has seen some new projects from developers bolstered by tax incentives and government subsidies, but for-profit builders from the North Side appear to be rediscovering the neighborhood as well.
Bill Williams, founder of KMW Communities, said Friday he hadn’t thought about working in Woodlawn until an old buddy from business school, who now works at the University of Chicago, asked him to take a look at the neighborhood.
“I just thought Woodlawn had all these anchors that make a great neighborhood,” Williams said. “We were wondering why there hadn’t been further development.”
Williams said he is betting that families will want to move to the neighborhood just west of the lake because it’s close to institutions like the university, museums and Barack Obama’s planned presidential library, all easily accessible by the Green Line "L".
KMW Communities is planning nine single-family homes, 12 town homes and four condominiums for Woodlawn, with construction expected to start in February.
Williams said he’s hired Studio Dwell, which has designed some of the more modernist new construction in Bucktown’s real estate boom, to create the modern contemporary buildings for the 6100 and 6200 blocks of South Greenwood Avenue and the 6200 block of South Woodlawn Avenue.
“These buildings are going to have a striking design,” Williams said of the plans that are still being developed.
He said the developments are all targeted to families and will have three or four bedrooms, with the single-family homes expected to list at $585,000 and the town homes listing for about $400,000.
Williams’ firm is not the only one eyeing Woodlawn.
Greenline Development is planning nine single-family homes in the 6100 block of South Ellis Avenue and the 500 block of East 60th Street.
A representative from Greenline Development was not immediately available to comment.
The homes are expected to begin construction in the middle of next year and be priced around $475,000.
Construction plans continue to be focused on the northern area of the neighborhood, along the edge of the university’s campus.
Affordable housing projects also continue to move forward farther west in Woodlawn.
The $28 million Woodlawn Station, which will bring 55 affordable and market-rate apartments to the corner of 63rd Street and Cottage Grove Avenue, will begin construction in November, according to Brian Berg, a spokesman for Preservation of Affordable Housing.
It is the latest development for Preservation for Affordable Housing, which has been expanding the number of projects that include retail space.
Woodlawn Station includes 15,000 square feet of retail shared among three to five tenants.
Developers are seeking retail tenants, Berg said.
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