CHICAGO, IL - Interfaith Housing Development Corporation (IHDC), announced the groundbreaking of its latest housing development, Fifth Avenue Apartments, providing 72 new affordable housing units in the Village of Maywood, a western suburb of Chicago. The development has been made possible thanks to four major financial partners along with an energy efficiency grant from ComEd. These financial partners include the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), the Cook County Department of Planning and Development, the Richman Group Affordable Housing Corporation, and Bank of America. The Chicago Community Loan Fund also provided pre-development lending prior to construction.
A vacant 33,000 square foot lot located at 800 South 5th Avenue, once owned by the Village of Maywood, is the site for the new development. The adjacent 5th Avenue corridor is a pedestrian-oriented commercial corridor in the Village, allowing future tenants easy access to transit, education, and retail. The building will be comprised of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom residential units along with interior and exterior shared community spaces for resident use. It also includes approximately 5,500 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, currently slated for development into a grocery store, addressing the lack of this amenity in the area. Residential parking will be provided off the alley behind the new building, with commercial parking provided along 5th Avenue. New diagonal parking will also be added on surrounding streets to help accommodate additional residential guests and commercial users as well.
"This historically-underserved part of metro Chicago has proven a strong need for quality affordable housing, and we are thrilled to have this project ploughing ahead to meet that need," said Perry Vietti, the President of Interfaith Housing. "This development has been specifically designed to serve working families and individuals and some special needs populations. Slated for opening in early 2021, we could not be more thrilled to now have this important community resource coming out of the ground."
Maintaining its affordability status for a minimum of forty years, the five-story development will provide affordable housing for households at or below 60 percent of area median income (AMI). Sixteen of the units are designated for households at or below 30% AMI; twenty-eight units are for households at or below 50% AMI; and twenty-eight units will support households at or below 60% AMI. Nineteen of these units will be targeted to special needs populations, including 8 units set aside for homeless veterans and 11 units for tenants selected from the Illinois State Referral Network.
According to Toni Preckwinkle, the President of the Cook County Board, "Investment in affordable housing is critical to communities throughout Cook County. Half of the residents of Cook County are rent burdened, which means they pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent. With rental prices rising and gentrification moving in Chicago, it's more important than ever to recognize that housing is a human right."
The development has been designed by national integrated architecture and engineering firm, HED, and is being constructed by Chicago-based McShane Construction Company. The IHDC development team established early in the project a desire to achieve high levels of environmental sustainability, in an effort to best serve its resident population health as well as that of the surrounding neighborhood.
In 2018, Fifth Avenue Apartments was one of only a dozen projects nationwide, and the only one in Illinois, to be selected to participate in the International Living Future Institute's (ILFI) third round of the Living Building Challenge Affordable Housing Pilot Project program.
"As a project selected for the Living Building Challenge's affordable housing pilot program, we have enjoyed developing this design alongside this important sustainability advocacy platform, identifying the current challenges of pursuing this extreme green approach to design in the State of Illinois," said Susan King, Principal in Charge with HED. "While the project could not feasibly achieve the current certification expectations, IHDC's participation in this pilot effort will ultimately benefit countless affordable housing projects around the country in the future as the research continues to develop."
Additional project team members supporting the design and development of the Fifth Avenue Apartments project include SITE Design for landscape architecture, and Ericksson Engineering for civil engineering. Property management will be provided by Interfaith Management Services, an affiliate of Interfaith Housing Development Corporation, that currently manages the 12 affordable developments that Interfaith owns.