Chicago finances mixed-use affordable housing project led by nonprofit for blind

Illinois Medical District development to bring 76 units for visually impaired, veterans and people with other disabilities

Chicago /
Mar.March 01, 2022 01:23 PM

(The Chicago Lighthouse, iStock)

One of Chicago’s oldest nonprofits is stepping into the affordable housing market.

Chicago Lighthouse, which has served blind and visually imparied people in the city for 116 years, is teaming with Brinshore Development to bring a nine-story, mixed-use structure to 1134 South Wood Street in the Illinois Medical District, Crain’s reported.

The project will be called the Foglia Residences and include 76 apartments reserved for households making between 30 and 80 percent of the area median income, or about $25,200 and $67,100 for a three-person household, according to the city. Its emphasis will be to house blind and visually imparied tenants, as well as income-qualifying veterans and people with other disabilities.

The ground floor will consist of a 1,500-square-foot retail space, and there will be a residential lobby and a gym.

It will replace a corner parking lot for Chicago Lighthouse’s adjacent two-floor medical facility, which was dedicated by Helen Keller in 1955, and offer space into which the nonprofit’s services can expand, Chicago YIMBY reported.

The unit mix will consist of 18 studios, 40 one-bedrooms, and 18 two-bedrooms, and 40 units will include features for those who are blind or visually impaired, Chicago YIMBY reported.

Financing for the project consists of loans and tax credits worth up to $45.9 million so far, with some of it coming from the city through a $10.4 million loan with CBIC Bank, Chicago YIMBY reported. Another $24 million is being supplied through Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and $2.1 million from Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credit. The project has $3 million in loans from others.

Funding the project is also being helped by a donation from Vince Foglia, who founded medical products company Sage Products in the medical district in 1971, according to Crain’s, which reported Chicago Lighthouse President and CEO Janet Szlyk declined to disclose the gift amount.

Developers could break ground later this year and the project is set for completion in 2024, Crain’s reported.

[Crain’s] – Sam Lounsberry





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