City of Chicago and CHA Close on Two Affordable Housing Buildings in Logan Square
Encuentro Square will offer 89 affordable units to the western edge of the 606 Trail.
The Department of Housing (DOH), the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), and the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) have closed on Encuentro Square, a two-building, multi-family development at 3759 W. Cortland Street and 1844 N. Ridgeway Avenue, at the western edge of the 606 Trail. The development will provide 89 affordable units for those with incomes at or below 60% of the Chicago Area Median Income (AMI).
Encuentro’s amenities will include a community services lobby and community room, a teaching kitchen, on-site management offices, bike storage, a children’s room, and lounge and courtyard. Community support services will also be available to tenants, including home-based head start in partnership with the Children’s Place Association, as well as financial training and counseling.
70 of the 89 total units are family-sized units (two-bedrooms or larger). 55 units will benefit from long-term project-based rental assistance administered by the CHA, of which 44 are family sized units.
The development’s site is in Chicago’s Logan Square community, at its southwestern border with the Hermosa and Humboldt Park neighborhoods. It is immediately adjacent to the western terminus of the 606 Trail and linear park, taking advantage of nearby public spaces.
“Gentrification pressure in the Logan Square community has resulted in a significant reduction in naturally occurring affordable housing stock for the area, leading to changes in demographics that have accelerated over the past decade with the development of the 606 Trail,” said DOH Acting Commissioner Jim R. Horan. “Encuentro Square puts a stake in the ground in a highly visible location that confirms the City’s commitment to these 89 households being able to call Logan Square home.”
With displacement pressure mounting in the area, the project site was acquired by the Trust for Public Land during the planning and construction of the 606 Trail, and then acquired by the City in 2019, with the requirement that the formerly industrial property be redeveloped as affordable housing and public parkland.
“CHA is proud to be a key partner in Encuentro Square, a project that demonstrates what can be accomplished when stakeholders from the public and private sectors join together to ensure affordable housing in rapidly gentrifying communities like Logan Square. Thanks to CHA’s funding support, 55 of the 89 families in these new buildings will have the security of long-term housing stability. With this rental assistance, families who live in Logan Square -- and who love Logan Square -- can remain in this community for years to come,” said CHA CEO Tracey Scott.
The developer of Encuentro Square, a joint venture of Northwest Side-based not-for-profit housing developer Latin United Community Housing Association (LUCHA) and for-profit housing developer Evergreen Real Estate Group, submitted an application for the redevelopment of the site as affordable housing during DOH’s 2019 funding round.
"Encuentro Square is the culmination of many years of planning and hard work by dozens of public and private entities. Evergreen is proud to make this community vision a reality and provide critical affordable housing for families living near the western terminus of the 606 trail," said David Block, Director of Development at Evergreen Real Estate Group
"LUCHA is incredibly proud to continue to build on our more than forty-year history of providing affordable housing to our community. We look forward to adding these units to the stock of permanently affordable housing, turning a vacant lot not just into housing, but into homes,” said Lissette Castaneda, Executive Director at LUCHA.
Encuentro Square is the result of such collaborative efforts. In relation to but funded and implemented separately from the Encuentro Square development, the Chicago Park District will take ownership of a portion of the site that is to be redeveloped for use as a public park that will connect with the 606 Trail.
Encuentro Square is being funded with approximately $32,300,000 in equity generated by City-sourced Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, $1,666,400 in funds generated by state tax credits from the City’s donation of the project property, $9,000,000 in City-sourced TIF funds, $14,827,230 in City-sourced loan funds, and private mortgage debt of $6,780,000, among other sources.