CABRINI-GREEN — Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. urged former Cabrini-Green residents to "come back to the community" with the opening Thursday of the Clybourn 1200 apartment complex.
The seven-story, 84-unit, $35 million building at 454 W. Division St. is mixed-income, with 30 percent of units going to CHA residents; 30 percent for affordable housing; and 40 percent rented at market rate, the 27th Ward alderman said. That translates to 25 CHA and affordable apartments, with 34 set at the market rate.
The project was a collaboration between the CHA, nonprofit Cabrini-Green LAC Community Development Corp. and developer Brinshore-Michael.
"That makes it a true collaboration, a public-private partnership," Brinshore's Richard Sciortino said.
According to Sciortino, the city supplied the land, $15 million in tax credits and $8 million in tax increment financing funds. The CHA also chipped in an $8 million loan.
"The city wanted for years to provide a productive use for this particular corner," said David Reifman, commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development. He added that it served the city's aims in "preserving affordable housing."
The new building displaced a small farm at Clybourn and Division, which was moved a couple of blocks west. To make up for that, in part, it has an aviary on the roof with four beehives. Sciortino said there'd be "honey for every one of the residents in the building."
Samlaree Birch said her family was threatened with homelessness after being forced out of an Atrium Village building razed last year to make way for another development just down Division Street. They were saved, she said, by finding a place in Clybourn 1200.
"This is location, location, location — and community," said Diana Liu of the CHA.
"I'm proud to be from this neighborhood, from Cabrini-Green," Burnett said, and he urged former residents of the housing project to look into returning. The CHA complex was torn down between 1995 and 2011.
According to end-of-the-year figures from the CHA, there were 1,770 households displaced by the Cabrini-Green demolition, all with a right of return to a CHA site. Some 1,048, or 59 percent, have already been placed in housing around the city, but 92 households, or 5 percent, were still waiting as of the end of the year. Again, any of them could apply to return.
According to the CHA, 19 percent of the 1,770 households lost their right of return, either through death, eviction or never filling out a Housing Choice Survey, but an additional 16 percent had the option to apply for reinstatement should they ever submit the survey.