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54 Affordable Apartments, Retail Space Proposed For Clark And Estes

By Linze Rice | October 27, 2016 6:06am
 Ald. Joe Moore (49th) is holding a community meeting for residents to learn more about a 54-unit building with retail proposed for 7070 N. Clark St.
Clark and Estes Building
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ROGERS PARK — A proposed 54-unit apartment building with ground-floor retail could take over a Clark Street site once slated for a different development before the 2008 recession.

Ald. Joe Moore (49th) said in an email to residents that Douglas Ross, of Ross Real Estate Services, had entered into a contingent contract to buy the property at 7070 N. Clark St. for a mixed-use development, but first needed to secure zoning changes from the city and affordable housing tax credits from the state.

A community meeting to discuss the project is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Chicago Math and Science Academy, 7212 N. Clark St.

The building at Clark and Estes would contain 54 "universally designed" apartments ranging from studios to two-bedrooms to easily accommodate people with disabilities, Moore said.

Developers would also seek special certification of the building's environmentally-friendly features, including energy-efficient appliances, windows and lights. An outdoor green space with a small patio and courtyard is proposed alongside the building.

Below, 3,300 square feet of retail space would be available for up to three businesses, including potentially a restaurant, Moore said. 

The ground floor will contain enough space for up to three businesses, including a restaurant. [Provided]

The first floor would also be occupied by multiple offices for the apartment building, including rooms for a social coordinator, resident activities and property manager. A private entrance and lobby elevator would also be included for residents.

Forty-two of the apartments will be reserved for residents who earn 60 percent or less of the median income in the neighborhood: $32,340 or below for single occupants, or $46,140 for a family of four.

Eleven of the units will be set aside for low-income residents who make 30 percent or less of the area's average, $16,170 for singles or $24,070 for families.

Moore said part of the proposed deal with Ross involves ensuring he can get tax credits for the affordable units from the Illinois Housing Development Authority. 

The housing group requires developers to keep rents low enough for occupants earning at or below 60 percent of the area's median household income. The state also requires some apartments must be set aside for "extremely" low-income renters, Moore said.

If Ross can secure those credits, he would use them to attract investors for the project, Moore said.

Another aspect of the contract Ross would need approval from is in the form of parking. 

The building's plans currently call for 20 parking spaces, less than the number usually required by the city. 

Because the development would be in close enough proximity to the Rogers Park Metra station, Moore said Ross hopes to take advantage of Chicago's Transit-Oriented Development ordinance, which allows projects to have fewer parking spaces than normal to encourage use of public transportation. 

The building would also need a zoning change to be approved by the city.

An application for the 2017 affordable housing credits is due to the state by February, but the project must first get zoning approval in order to be considered.

The corner lot was formerly approved for a development by Moore in 2007 but the deal eventually fell through during the 2008 economic recession, Moore said.

It was then bought by another developer who "did nothing" with the site, Moore said. 

Pending approval of zoning changes and the state's tax credits, Moore said Ross' purchase of the property would go forth.

Moore said he would only support the zoning change if it is limited to allow only Ross' project and not any other. If Ross were approved and later wanted to make changes to his plans, he would need to get city approval, Moore said.

A new building proposed for 7070 N. Clark St. at Estes Avenue. [Provided]

The building would have a private, secure entrance for residents. [Provided]

A patio with a courtyard and green space would be built along the building's side. [Provided]

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