New Ordinance Would Preserve 406 Units of Affordable Housing at Historic Art Deco Lawson House

June 25, 2021

An ordinance introduced by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today would issue up to $17,587,937 in Multi-Family Housing Loan Funds and $4,697,656 in 9% tax credits to finance the preservation of 406 units of affordable units for a minimum of 50 years at Lawson House on the North Side. The Art Deco 22-story, limestone-clad building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was originally constructed in 1931 at 30 West Chicago Avenue by the YMCA of Chicago with 583 units. The building was acquired by Lawson Partners, LLC from the YMCA for $1.00 in December 2014 to preserve it as affordable housing for lowincome Chicago residents.

All of the units are studios and affordable to tenants with incomes at 60% of the area median income (AMI) or below. After rehabilitation, each unit will be equipped with private kitchens and bathrooms. Existing building amenities, including the community room, laundry, will be retained and plans the remaining historic gymnasium will become an exercise/fitness room. Current tenants can choose to be temporarily relocated during the estimated 30-month construction period or instead choose to be permanently relocated elsewhere based on the terms of the Uniform Relocation Act.

The total project cost is approximately $122,435,082. In addition to the $17,587,937 in Multi-Family Housing Loan Funds and $4,697,656 in 9% tax credits from the City, the complicated rehabilitation is being financed with an approximately $79,375,316 bridge loan from JPMorgan Chase, a $17,200,000 Risk Sharing Loan from IHDA, a subordinate $1,757,682 loan and $2,443,760 in Donation Tax Credits also from IHDA, and $14,579,232 in Historic Tax Credits from the National Park Service.


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