CHA joins residents, partners to dedicate first phase of a revitalized Lathrop

Oct 16, 2019

Press contacts:
Office of Communications – Chicago Housing Authority
Molly Sullivan: (312) 786-3344;
Matthew Aguilar: (312) 935-2646;

CHICAGO (Oct. 16, 2019) - Chicago Housing Authority officials joined residents, Related Midwest, Lathrop Community Partners, the City of Chicago, local elected officials and development partners to celebrate the completion of the first phase of redevelopment at Lathrop, one of CHA’s oldest and most historic family housing communities.

At a community ceremony held on October 15 overlooking the Chicago River, the project was celebrated for the all that it brings to residents and the community. The project was developed by Lathrop Community Partners, a development team comprised of Related Midwest, Bickerdike Redevelopment Corp. and Heartland Housing.

CHA committed $60 million in capital funds for Phase I of the redevelopment project, which included 414 new or rehabbed housing units, including 151 public housing, 91 affordable and 172 market-rate rental units. All CHA residents who remained at Lathrop have moved into the new building or the fully rehabbed units.

“We dreamed this dream for a long time,” said Juanita Stevenson a 35-year resident and the President of Lathrop’s Local Advisory Council. “I can’t wait to see what Phase II looks like!”

The project involved the historic preservation of 16 existing buildings on the north side of Diversey Avenue and the construction of a six-story, 58-unit apartment building south of Diversey along with a restored Great Lawn, and construction of a new river walk that provides greater access to the Chicago River, including a kayak launch.

“What we celebrate today is an example of CHA’s longstanding commitment to Lathrop residents and to bringing more mixed-income housing to neighborhoods across our city,” said Acting CHA CEO James L. Bebley. “None of this would have been possible without the support of the residents and the many partners who have helped move the vision of a renewed Lathrop forward. It is thanks to the strong partnerships we have built that the revitalized Lathrop is possible.”

The City of Chicago provided $3 million in 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits which generated $30,300,000 in equity, and $4.5 million in Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credits (DTCs) which generated $4.05 million in equity to support the project.

“This is a great example of a strong public private partnership,” said Department of Housing Commission Marisa Novara. “Publicly the City, the State and the Chicago Housing Authority; privately with private financial support but also with two great nonprofits, Bickerdike and Heartland and Related Midwest as the developer. The glue of this whole thing was a strong resident presence that insisted on the return of Lathrop to what it should be.”

The Illinois Housing Development Authority also contributed low income housing tax credits and a HOME loan.

CHA and its partners have worked hand in hand with the community and the Lathrop Working Group every step of the way to make the vision for a renewed Lathrop a reality.

Under the first phase, the units in the historic buildings were renovated and feature contemporary floor plans and identical features and finishes, all reflecting modern designs and a new mid-rise apartment building just south of Diversey that also features modern apartment

The restoration of the Jens Jensen-designed “Great Lawn” and the new river walk provide amenities such as a children’s playground, a dog park and kayak launch.

The first phase of the project also included the addition of retail. Hexe Coffee Co. is the first retail tenant, located in the restored administration building. The coffee shop features coffee, locally baked goods as well as sandwiches and other food offerings along with craft beers. This is the first brick and mortar location for Hexe.