March 27, 2023

Mayor Lightfoot Announces Winner of West Side Design Competition

Seven-story affordable housing project to rise next to Kedzie Green Line Station

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO — A seven-story, 63-unit, all-affordable apartment building was announced by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today as the winning proposal to redevelop vacant City land adjacent to the CTA Green Line in East Garfield Park. 

The $47.2M equitable Transit-Oriented Development (eTOD) project by The Michaels Organization, KMW Communities and TruDelta Real Estate was selected over two competing proposals for the .49-acre site at 132 N. Kedzie Ave. The proposals were evaluated for community wealth building potential, economic feasibility, and professional and technical competence. 

"The inclusion of design features and amenities that reflect the desires of the community, along with the development team's demonstrated history of successfully executing catalytic projects, made this proposal stand out," Mayor Lightfoot said. "I am confident that this development will revitalize the site and its surrounding area and serve as a much-needed affordable, transit-oriented housing option for East Garfield Park residents.” 

Called Hub 32, the 78,000-square-foot building is planned to include 14 one-, 34 two- and 15 three-bedroom apartments to be rented at rates affordable to households earning up to 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Designed by Brooks + Scarpa and Studio Dwell, the building includes rooftop amenities for residents, 5,600 square feet of ground-floor retail space, 16 exterior parking spots, and a public plaza for outdoor dining and community gathering. First floor tenants are expected to include Jerky Jerk Caribbean restaurant and Vietfive Coffee. 

The proposal was submitted in response to a 2022 Department of Planning and Development (DPD) Request for Qualifications (RFQ) that attracted more than 30 responses from developers and designers. The respondents formed individual development teams that were short-listed last year to three finalists. Each of the finalists received $25,000 stipends from the Chicago Community Trust to engage local stakeholders and create proposed designs. 

“All three of the innovative design proposals that emerged through the RFQ represent the community’s vision for the corridor’s future, one that is premised on design excellence, affordability and transit access,” DPD Commissioner Maurice Cox said. “Hub 32 really demonstrates how high-density investment near transit can leverage public realm improvements like wider sidewalks and plazas, while also reflecting more traditional housing typologies like the Chicago courtyard building, which will provide future residents with semi-private outdoor space that opens to the sky.” 

eTOD projects are investments that create dense commercial, mixed-use, and residential buildings near trains and bus lines in areas that are low-density or lacking private investment. 

“Projects like today’s winning proposal illustrate the importance and impact of eTOD principles, and, with their human-centered approach, they enable people of all incomes to live affordably near transit,” DOH Commissioner Marisa Novara said. 

City support for the winning proposal may include Tax Increment Financing, tax credits, zoning, a land write-down, or other forms of assistance. The proposal will be subject to additional community engagement efforts as well as the City's standard review and approval procedures. Construction could start by early 2024. 

Located on the southwest corner of Lake Street and Kedzie, portions of the site have been vacant since the early 1970s and part of the City’s inventory since the late 1990s.  

“The 63 new homes at Hub 32 will completely revitalize one of the West Side’s premier transit-oriented development sites while also serving as a catalyst and model for additional mixed-use investment in East Garfield Park,” Ald. Jason Ervin said.  

The two competing proposals were submitted by CBBC and Evergreen/Imagine for similarly sized, all-affordable buildings. DPD will continue to work with the developer of the runner-up proposal — Evergreen/Imagine — for potential implementation on nearby vacant land.