CHICAGO, IL (June 14, 2017) – Community residents joined Mercy Housing Lakefront and Alderman Michael Scott, Jr., (24th Ward) along with development partners today to celebrate the grand opening of the Lofts on Arthington, the former Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog printing building that has been adapted into 181 affordable homes for working families in the Homan Square community on Chicago’s West Side.
The ribbon-cutting for the new $63 million development that will provide safe, stable affordable housing and onsite supportive services to nearly 600 people - including 350 children - was hosted by the development team of Mercy Housing Lakefront and the organization’s development partners, including Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), which helped deliver this newest investment in housing and neighborhoods.
"Adaptive reuse of properties like this helps restore neighborhoods while also helping to meet Chicago’s growing affordable housing needs," said Mark Angelini, President of Mercy Housing Lakefront, the region's largest non-profit provider of affordable and supportive housing, which owns the property and led the redevelopment. "For nearly seven decades, Sears employees pursued their version of the American Dream at this property. We’re pleased to have played a role in helping transform this historic property into a valuable community resource once again.”
The apartments will be affordable to low-income families, with 115 units for families at 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI) and 66 units supported by CHA investment for families who earn 30 percent or less of AMI. The innovative building also includes 4,000 square-feet of educational service space, a technology center, a fitness room, and 7,600 square-feet of outdoor patio, play and green space
Residents of the Lofts on Arthington, who began moving into their new apartments over the last few months, will have on-site access to programs and supportive services, including pre-K education, in-unit neonatal health care and job training. Additionally, the building is anticipated to generate more than $100,000 in annual real estate taxes.
CHA CEO Eugene Jones, Jr. said, “The Lofts on Arthington are another example of CHA’s ability to creatively use its resources to provide affordable housing opportunities and services to Chicagoans seeking a place to call home. Our investment in developments like this are made possible by the strong partnerships we have forged with residents, communities, elected leaders and developers like Mercy Housing Lakefront, who help make our vision a reality. Together, we strive to improve the quality of life not only for residents, but for neighbors, communities and the City of Chicago as a whole.”
The building’s apartments range in size from one-to-four bedrooms, and up to 1,340 square feet. Sixty-six of the apartments are targeted to families whose income is up to 30 percent of the Area Median Income; the remaining 115 apartments are affordable to moderate income families whose income is 60 percent of AMI, or about $43,440 for a family of four.
The project was made possible by a diverse group of partners in the public and private sectors, including: Applegate & Thorne-Thompson PC, Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Realty Company, Citi Community Development, DENCO Construction LLC, Environmental Solutions, Inc., Federal Home Loan Bank, First Eagle Bank, James McHugh Construction Company, MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC, Nationwide Insurance, RBC Capital Markets, Alderman Michael Scott, Jr., and Solomon Cordwell Buenz.
“We’ve seen from previous developments such as the Pullman Wheelworks Apartments what a powerful role affordable housing can play in helping to turn around struggling communities and improving the quality of life for those who live there,” Angelini said.
About Mercy Housing Lakefront
Mercy Housing Lakefront (MHL) is working to build a region where everyone has an affordable home to use as a springboard to achieve better health, economic security, and a brighter future for their kids. By the end of 2017, MHL will own and operate 52 properties in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, enabling nearly 10,000 people to live in hope. MHL is a regional branch of Mercy Housing, Inc. (MHI), a leading national affordable housing nonprofit headquartered in Denver, Colorado. Please find additional information at www.mercyhousinglakefront.org.
About Chicago Housing Authority
The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) helps build vibrant communities across the city. By using housing as a platform, the agency works with a host of key stakeholders to sustain strong neighborhoods to best prepare CHA residents for the global economy on their road toward self-sufficiency. CHA also provides stable, decent, safe and affordable housing to more than 62,000 low-income families and individuals, while supporting healthy communities in neighborhoods throughout Chicago. For more information, visit www.thecha.org