Construction on housing complex at 5150 N. Northwest Hwy could start early next year; first-floor cafe possible
by BRIAN NADIG
Construction on a mixed-income housing complex, with a possible job-training cafe on the first floor, could start early next year at 5150 N. Northwest Hwy.
“We are hoping to close before year end with an immediate start thereafter (on construction),” said project developer Joshua Wilmoth of Full Circle Communities. He added that occupancy for the apartments is expected to start in the summer of 2021.
The controversial seven-story development has been in the works for nearly 4 years.
Initial plans called for only a self-storage facility on the parcel, but former alderman John Arena had the site downzoned to stop that plan, and the property’s owner, LSC Development, then sued the city.
As part of a settlement agreement, Arena and LSC agreed to a plan calling for a warehouse on the north end of the property, where Public Storage opened last month, and a housing development on the south end.
On Nov. 19, the Chicago Housing Authority gave final approval to $21.5 million in housing assistance payments over a 30-year period for the project, according to CHA spokeswoman Molly Sullivan. The CHA will be issuing project-based vouchers which are specific for the Northwest Highway location, she said.
The CHA is subsidizing 30 of the building’s 75 apartments. The vouchers will cover the portion of the rent which the tenant is not required to pay for, based on a formula involving household income.
In addition, 10 of the 30 CHA units will be reserved for homeless veterans who have been seeking housing through the federal Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program. The other 20 CHA-subsidized units, which will include a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedrooms apartments, will be for families on the CHA wait list.
Project officials have said that the other 45 units will include a mix of affordable and market-rate apartments, with monthly rents for the entire building ranging from about $200 to $2,000. Veterans will be given priority for all units, with a secondary preference for those with disabilities.
The building’s ground-floor space will be managed by Friendship Community Place, which will be hosting community activities “as well as offering a co-working location and business incubator,” Wilmoth said.
“They are also working on agreements to provide a coffeehouse and food counter for the Jefferson Park community which could also function as a cooking class location and event space. The food service provider may perform job training as part of their endeavors,” Wilmoth said.
The development, which also is being subsidized with housing tax credits, includes about 40 parking spaces.