Developers to keep Obama Center units affordable through 2056

Land lease prevents another sale

From left: POAH's Bill Eager, Jonathan Rose Companies' Jonathan Rose, and Nathan Taft 6054 South Stony Island
From left: POAH's Bill Eager, Jonathan Rose Companies' Jonathan Rose, and Nathan Taft 6054 South Stony Island (Jonathan Rose, Google Maps, POAH)

A pair of out-of-state developers closed on a South Side apartment complex across from the site of the future Obama Presidential Center with a land lease that aims to keep it affordable for three decades.

New York’s Jonathan Rose Cos. and Boston’s Preservation of Affordable Housing, which paid $25 million for the 318-unit Jackson Park Terrace apartment complex at 6054 South Stony Island Avenue and a lease that runs for 34 years, the Chicago Business Journal reported. The lease means the developers can’t sell it or court investors until it expires in 2056.

The land, across the street from the Jackson Football/Soccer field and down the street from Hyde Park Academy High School, is owned by the University of Chicago.

“There was never a discussion with the university about buying the land,” Jonathan Rose’s Nathan Taft told the outlet. “Besides, one of the agreements we made with HUD was to extend the affordability for that property until 2056.”

The developers will start a $4 million 12- to 18-month-long renovation in September and plan to keep running it as affordable housing.

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“Our plan is to preserve affordable housing at Jackson Park, so even if we were to get offered millions of dollars to sell, and if there was no land lease holding us back, we still wouldn’t sell,” Bill Eager with POAH told the publication.

Earlier this month, Jonathan Rose spent $10.7 million for a 13-building multifamily portfolio in the Englewood neighborhood. POAH paid $29 million last July for the 240-unit Terrace Apartments at 6430 South Stony Island Avenue.

A circuit judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals last month dismissed a suit seeking to block construction of the Obama Center..

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