548 Capital Joins City of Chicago, ComED and Local Businesses to Unveil New Sustainable Affordable Housing Development on 79th Street

November 16, 2023

Mixed-Use Development features 28 High-Efficiency Units and Retail Space, Generating Economic and Sustainability Benefits for Auburn Gresham Community

548 Capital, a subsidiary of 548 Enterprise, in collaboration with the City of Chicago, ComEd, LISC Chicago, JPMorgan Chase, and local minority-owned businesses, today announced the completion of new affordable housing and retail space located along the 79th Street Corridor. The project, located at 1376 W. 79th Street in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood, was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, November 16.  


​​“We at 548 Enterprise are very proud to have partnered with the City on this synergistic project on 79th Street,” said AJ Patton, CEO and founder of 548 Enterprise. “The TIF program was vital to the project's success, and we are grateful for the City program and Alderman Moore's continued advocacy.” 


The development features 7,000 square feet of retail space for 11 commercial storefronts in a neighborhood ready for retail expansion. It also features 28 affordable-housing residential units outfitted with high-efficiency building elements, including a new variable refrigerant flow (VRF) HVAC system, high-performance windows, and energy-efficiency lighting. During the next development phase, the building will be outfitted with rooftop solar photovoltaic panels that could contribute to the building’s projected 33%-to-50% energy savings. 


The development is supported by a $500,000 Tax Increment Financing (TIF) grant from the Department of Housing's (DOH) TIF Purchase Rehab program, a $1.5 million loan from LISC Chicago as part of its Entrepreneurs of Color Fund (EOCF), and support from JPMorgan Chase through EOCF in expanding access to our loan capital to borrowers and projects that are outside of traditional lending criteria.


“The completion of 1370 W. 79th Street renovation is a testament to the dedication of the DOH and developers like Patton, who strive to provide affordable housing in our communities,” said DOH’s Acting Commissioner Jim R. Horan. “In addition to providing the needed affordable housing, this project also serves as a representation for the continued revitalization and growth of the South Side of Chicago.”


The project is part of an ongoing effort to expand building decarbonization and help communities lower reliance on fossil fuels by using more efficient energy technologies. In addition to ComEd’s award-winning energy efficiency program, which has helped families and businesses save more than $8 billion on their energy bills since 2008, ComEd’s Affordable Housing New Construction program, designed to incentivize energy efficiency building design features, provided nearly $88,000 in incentives, along with technical assistance throughout the project. ComEd’s support paved the way to integration of high efficiency building elements - including heat pumps, HVAC, windows and other features - which have been shown to significantly lower energy usage, reduce carbon emissions and enhance air quality for the community.  

“ComEd is proud to partner with 548 Capital on the development of new, high-efficiency housing and retail space along the historic 79th Street corridor,” said Gil C. Quiniones, CEO of ComEd.  “This project will create long-term sustainability and economic benefits for this community and Chicago more broadly, advancing our goal of empowering customers to adopt higher efficiency equipment that will lower their energy usage, reduce carbon emissions and enhance air quality across all of our communities.” 

The project costs of 1370 W. 79th Street total $2.7 million, with DOH’s TIF grant playing a critical role in the development’s rehabilitation. In accordance with the requirements of the TIF Purchase Rehab program, Patton committed to maintaining nine of the 28 residential units as affordable housing for those at 80% of the Area Media Income (AMI) of 10 years. 


DOH's TIF Purchase-Rehab Program is designed to support private developers in purchasing and rehabilitating vacant or underutilized buildings within designated TIF districts, especially in the South and West Sides. The program provides TIF assistance ranging from 30 to 50% of the total costs needed to rehabilitate multi-family and mixed-use buildings containing five or more units. The extent of TIF assistance is determined by project need, and it requires a percentage of apartments to be made available to households earning no more than 80% of the AMI over a period of 10 years. 


To be eligible for this program, a property must require substantial rehabilitation that necessitates a permit for costs of $10,000 or more per unit. In TIF districts with limited multi-family housing stock, smaller buildings within a two-block radius may also be combined to meet the requirement of five or more units. 


DOH works with the Community Investment Corp. (CIC) to administer the program effectively and ensure its success in bringing positive change to the community. 


“Innovation, sustainability and scalability are desperately needed in affordable housing, which is critical for inclusive growth in communities and economies,” said Joanna Trotter, Head of Chicago Philanthropy for JPMorgan Chase. “This development is a great example of the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund touching down in an important Chicago neighborhood to create more housing and space for business owners who care about the community to contribute to its revitalization.”


Other vital stakeholders contributing to the residential renovation project include the Chicago Department of Planning and Development and Alderman David Moore of the 17th Ward. 


“The project is at the center of ongoing public investments along 79th Street, including new housing options, small business support, transit improvements and streetscaping that are restoring the corridor’s traditional role as the heart of Auburn Gresham,” DPD Acting Commissioner Patrick Murphey said. 


“Mixed-use development projects are vital to providing access to more affordable housing and businesses and steering Illinois toward a future of clean energy. AJ Patton and his team at 548 Capital have spearheaded these important developments across our city,” said David Moore, 17th Ward Alderman. “I also want to thank all of the groups that contributed to help bring this development to fruition and for their continued dedication to making the 17th ward a clean and efficient development space.”

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