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New Near West Side Senior Housing Complex Breaks Ground

April 7, 2017 2:11pm | Updated April 11, 2017 11:42am
Flanked by the Rev. George W. Daniels, left, and Ald. Walter Burnett (27th), right, Mayor Rahm Emanuel celebrates the start of construction on a 62-unit senior housing complex.
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DNAinfo/Heather Cherone

NEAR WEST SIDE — Mayor Rahm Emanuel broke ground Friday on a 62-unit affordable senior housing complex on the Near West Side.

The complex at 1637 W. Washington Blvd. will be named for the Rev. Henry McCrory, the founding pastor of the First Baptist Congregational Church, which developed the project that has been in the works since 2005.

"This has been percolating for some time," said the Rev. George W. Daniels, the church's pastor, who said the church's first attempt at developing the land fell apart during the recession. "Thank God it is finally happening."

The apartments — set aside for those 62 and older — will be reserved for residents making no more than 60 percent of the area's median income, which is about $37,000 for a two-person household.

The McCrory Homes. [Chicago Department of Planning and Development]

"The McCrory Senior Apartments are a win-win. They will turn a vacant lot into 62 affordable new homes while creating new jobs on the Near West Side of Chicago," Emanuel said.

The building will include a mix of one- and two-bedroom units as well as a community room, fitness center, theater space, offices, laundry facilities and patio. It is scheduled to open in May 2018, officials said.

The five-story, $17.4 million apartment complex will be built with $4.1 million from the area's tax increment financing district. In addition, a quarter-acre of land valued at $697,000 was provided for the project for $1 by city officials.

TIF districts capture all growth in the property tax base in a designated area for a set period of time, usually 20 years or more, and divert it into a special fund for projects designed to spur redevelopment and eradicate blight.

The project  also is being financed with $13 million in low-income housing tax credits and tax credit equity from the Illinois Housing Development Authority as well as $600,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank, officials said.