Chicago Housing Authority joins partners to celebrate opening of Independence Apts

Sep 23, 2019

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

CHICAGO (Sept. 23, 2019) - Chicago Housing Authority officials today joined Evergreen Real Estate Group, the City of Chicago Department of Housing and the community to celebrate the opening of Independence Apartments, a mixed-income apartment building that brings affordable housing for seniors to the Northwest Side.

The apartment building at 4022 N. Elston Avenue provides 30 CHA apartments for renters from the CHA waiting list and 14 apartments at affordable rents and combines quality housing for seniors with a new Chicago Public Library (CPL) Independence Branch library that serves building residents and the entire community.

“It is extremely gratifying to see how our efforts to create new housing opportunities and community amenities are so well received,” said CHA Chief Development Officer Ann McKenzie. “We knew from the outset of this project that this innovative co-located development would have an important impact – not just on the seniors who will benefit from the new housing, but also the neighbors who use the library.”

Independence Apartments and the Independence Branch Library is one of three co-located, mixed-use Chicago Housing Authority/Chicago Public Library (CHA/CPL) developments built in Chicago. Independence Apartments features 36 one-bedroom units and eight two-bedroom units. Building amenities for tenants include a fitness room, laundry room, balconies in each unit, an outdoor terrace.

“We know how essential both our libraries and affordable housing are to the communities of Chicago,” said Chicago Public Library Commissioner Andrea Telli. “Thanks to the partnership with CHA, and the creativity of John Ronan, we are thrilled to be part of this beautiful, state of the art building that serves as a community anchor for library patrons, housing residents, and the broader community.”

Designed by award-winning architecture firm John Ronan Architects and built through a partnership with CHA, Evergreen Real Estate Group, and Leopardo Companies, the $33.3 million development serves as a community anchor along a vibrant stretch of Elston Avenue.

“Independence Apartments is the type of collaboration we need to increase affordable housing citywide while also expanding resources committed to homelessness prevention efforts,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “Through comprehensive investment strategies and public/private partnerships, we will not only address homelessness, we will also strengthen our communities and make neighborhoods safer for every family and resident.”

The apartment building was also supported by Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credits, allocated by the City of Chicago.

“This will be a wonderful community asset for generations to come,” Department of Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara said. “We need to continue to develop and support innovative, creative solutions like these to address not only affordable housing needs but also bolster social connections and strengthen neighborhoods throughout the city.”

“The Evergreen Real Estate Group is grateful to the City of Chicago, the Chicago Public Library, and the Chicago Housing Authority for the opportunity to implement such an exciting and transformative initiative,” said David Block, Evergreen’s Director of Development.  “With the leadership of our public-sector partners, our private-sector team of lenders and investors, designers and builders helped make the vision of the Independence and Northtown library-housing projects a reality.”

The other two co-located CHA/CPL developments are located in the West Ridge community, with Northtown Apartments and Northtown Branch Library at 6800 N. Western Ave. and Taylor Street Apartments and Little Italy Branch Library at 1342 W. Taylor St., which is part of CHA’s ongoing redevelopment of the Roosevelt Square community. CHA is working on a fourth library (co-located with a childcare center) currently under construction at 955 E. 131st Street and scheduled to open in early 2020.