Chicago, IL

Brand new affordable housing apartments in Chicago's Logan Square on track for completion by the end of the year

Jennifer Geer

Applications for Chicago Housing Authority voucher holders are open for 50 apartments in the 100-unit complex on Emmett Street, near the Logan Square Blue Line.

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Logan Square CTA Station Blue Line, Chicago(GTD Aquitaine/Public domain/Wikimedia Commons)

The Emmett Street Project aims to provide affordable and high-quality housing for long-time residents of Logan Square that have found themselves priced out of the area.

The 7-story apartment complex, located at 2602-38 North Emmett Street, was developed by the nonprofit developer, Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, and designed by Landon Bone Baker Architects. The project also includes 4,300 square feet of retail space at the ground level.

Applications are open

Applications can be filled out online on the Chicago Housing Authority's website. Click on "View Properties & Estimated Wait Times," where you can search by property name.

Construction on the exterior walls was finished in April. The project looks to be on track to be completed by the end of 2021 or January of 2022.

Out of the 100 units, half are designated for CHA voucher holders. The other 50 will be reserved for people making less than 60% of the area's median income, capped at $39,180 per year for individuals and $55,920 per year for a family of four.

Close to public transportation

The building is located in a former Chicago-owned parking lot that faces the southwest side of Emmett Street, northwest of the Logan Square CTA Blue Line station, and just over 5 miles from downtown.

The development features staggered heights from two to seven stories and is set back from the street to conform with neighboring residential buildings.

Follow the Emmett Street Project group on Facebook for updates.

The apartments will be a mix of one, two, and three-bedroom units. Amenities in the building will include:

  • A spacious lobby
  • Laundry facilities located onsite
  • A community room
  • Interior bike room
  • Exterior bike racks
  • An onsite maintenance office
  • Two elevators
  • 4,300 square feet of retail space on the ground floor

Who is Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation?

The Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation is a member-based community development corporation to protect the communities of West Town, Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Avondale, and Hermosa.

According to the website, "We are deeply dedicated to preserving the ethnic and cultural character of our neighborhoods while improving the economic conditions of the community."

Since 1967, Bickerdike has built or rehabbed 2,060 affordable rent or for-sale units, invested $353 million in construction and rehabilitation, and helped over 1,300 seniors to live independently.

The goal of anti-gentrification

Community leaders have fought for the Emmett Street project for years with the hope of creating affordable housing in the area for working families.

The neighborhood has been historically predominantly Latino. But the latest census numbers show that now over 50% of residents are white. Over the years, many lower-income residents have been displaced by rising rents and new expensive housing.

The affordable housing project has experienced some backlash. In March of last year, a group of Logan Square property owners filed a lawsuit against Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation. The owners argued that replacing the parking lot with subsidized apartments would cause them "irreparable injury." However, the lawsuit was dismissed in June of 2020.

Community leaders have attempted to stop the displacement of lower-income residents by championing an anti-gentrification ordinance that fines developers $15,000 for tearing down single-family homes and multi-unit buildings.

The ordinance passed the Chicago City Council and applies to areas in Pilsen and buildings zoned as RS3 and RS3.5 in Logan Square, Bucktown, and West Humboldt Park.

Though some property owners have complained that subsidized housing will negatively affect local property values, the evidence shows otherwise. According to research done by Trulia, home values did not drop when located next to affordable housing developments.

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