The Michaels Development Company and Brinshore Development today hosted an official groundbreaking ceremony for City Gardens Apartments, a new mixed income community the Brinshore-Michaels partnership is developing on the former site of the Chicago Housing Authority’s Maplewood Courts.
Part of the CHA’s Plan Forward program, the new rental community will feature 76 apartments in seven three-story buildings, an on-site management/leasing office, community gardening area, a recycling center and an impressive expanse of open green space for outdoor resident gatherings.
“City Gardens is innovative and amenity-rich housing that will be affordable to families with a range of incomes,” said Mikki Anderson, Vice President of Development for the Michaels Development Company. “The Near West Side location is close to I-290, and CTA bus routes and the Blue Line will provide exceptional access to quality jobs in the Loop and the Illinois Medical District.”
In keeping with the “green” theme, City Gardens will be built and designed with several environmentally friendly features, such as bioswales between buildings to remove pollution from runoff water and permeable pavers for rainwater management. There will also be a solar trellis and a recycling and composting zone. The project is expected to exceed the City of Chicago’s Green Housing Initiative requirements and be Energy Star Certified.
“CHA is proud to be part of this innovative, environmentally-conscious mixed-income development," said Eugene Jones Jr., Acting Chief Executive Officer for the CHA. "I am excited that the agency will provide key housing opportunities for low-income residents, as CHA continues to build strong, vibrant communities throughout Chicago.”
Designed by the architectural firm Landon Bone Baker, City Gardens will offer one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments. Each unit will boast private outdoor space, central air conditioning, carpeting and ceramic tile. There will also be laundry machine connections in each unit and Energy Star refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers.
One of the main features of this new urban complex is the large internal courtyard that will provide residents with ample outdoor recreation space, as well as an area for community gardening. The southern portion of the courtyard will have a play area and charcoal grills. It is expected to have the feel of a unique urban village within Chicago’s Near West Side.
City Gardens was made possible by several housing programs as well as public and private contributions. Overall, private equity in the development totaled over $17 million. Low Income Housing Tax Credits were allocated by the City of Chicago. In addition, the City of Chicago contributed over $3 million in TIF funding, while the Chicago Housing Authority contributed over $7 million. Bank of America provided construction and bridge financing of $13.5 million. Chicago LISC issued the development’s permanent loan of just over $1 million.
The much anticipated City Gardens community is expected to begin leasing units in June 2016.