ROCHELLE, IL - Lincoln Avenue Communities (LAC), a mission-driven acquirer and developer of affordable housing, broke ground on the future site of Willis Senior Lofts, an affordable housing development for lower-income seniors in Ogle County, during a ceremony with community leaders and financing partners.
The 60-unit property represents LAC's second new construction deal in Illinois. Willis Senior Lofts will serve residents aged 55 and older, with 45 units restricted to households earning less than 60 percent of the area median income (AMI) and 15 units restricted to 30 percent AMI.
"Lincoln Avenue Communities is thrilled to begin construction on our second ground-up development in Illinois," said Russell Condas, LAC Senior Vice President, Development. "We're especially proud to provide a deeper range of affordability for seniors who face unique barriers to securing high-quality homes in their communities."
Construction of Willis Senior Lofts is expected to finish in spring 2025. The property will be Enterprise Green- and Net Zero-certified and will include a fitness center, theater room, walking path, raised community garden and other amenities.
The development was financed using 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, a soft first mortgage from the Illinois Housing Development Authority, $4.9 million in IHDA soft funds, and 45L energy efficiency credit equity. CREA purchased both the LIHTC and 45L credits, and Chase will provide a construction loan for the development.
"The Willis Senior Lofts groundbreaking comes at a time when senior housing is in great need, and Chase is proud to help finance the first non-subsidized affordable housing development within the Rochelle community," said John Bernhard, Executive Director, Chase Community Development Banking. "These modern, quality, affordable housing units will give seniors in the Rochelle area a place to call home, where they can thrive and enter the next chapter in their lives."
The ceremony featured remarks from Rochelle Mayor John Bearrows and Congressman Darin LaHood, among other state and local leaders. Following remarks, LAC formally broke ground on a section of the property to mark the beginning of construction.