Chicago eyes $137M to build, upgrade senior housing

James Montgomery-led $31M Imani Senior Village project could result

Imani Village's James Montgomery and a rendering of the Imani Senior Village project (The Loretto Hospital, rendering via Johnson and Lee Architects)
Imani Village's James Montgomery and a rendering of the Imani Senior Village project (The Loretto Hospital, rendering via Johnson and Lee Architects)

With Chicago’s population of older adults set to explode in the next three decades, the city is pouring money into senior housing projects, handing wins to developers such as James D. Montgomery along the way.

City council is set to issue up to $137 million in financing for senior projects, including about $14 million in support for the Imani Senior Village plan led by Montgomery, a longtime area lawyer, the Chicago Business Journal reported.

Imani is in line to snag $6 million in city loans and grants and up to $8.1 million in property tax increment financing for the Imani proposal.

The proposed $31 million development is planned for 9633 South Cottage Grove Avenue in the Pullman neighborhood on the South Side. The five-story building would have 60 one-bedroom units and 10 two-bedrooms, some of which will be set aside for renters with household incomes between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income, which is between about $28,000 and $56,000 in Chicago for a three-person household, according to the city.

Overall, the city council is eyeing $137 million for the proposed new senior housing project as well as multiple existing complexes in the city in need of overhauls and upgrades.

More such projects are needed in the area If Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s demographic projections pan out. The organization expects that by 2050 more than 2.5 million adults older than 60 will live in Chicagoland, which would mark an 80 percent increase since 2015, when there were 1.6 million.

Chicago Department of Planning and Development commissioner Maurice Cox said the city’s financing will add more affordable housing to Chicago’s Invest South/West neighborhoods, which consist of areas targeted by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s to “reverse decades of disinvestment on Chicago’s South and West Sides” through real estate development.

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Existing senior living properties, including the 350-unit Albany Terrace Apartments in Little Village and the 151-unit Irene McCoy Gaines Apartments in East Garfield Park, could receive up to $100 million total in tax-exempt bonds from the Chicago Housing Authority, which owns both properties. Both buildings require upgrades to their infrastructure as well as interior renovations.

The total estimated cost of the improvements is $190 million for both properties.

In addition, the 86-unit Churchview Senior Living Facility in Marquette Park could get up to $23 million in funding for upgrades. A council measure regarding that property would provide Churchview up to $8 million in multifamily loans, $14 million in tax-exempt bonds and $1 million in Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credits.

Mayor Lori Lighftoot introduced the funding mechanisms to the council this week and they still require final approval.

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— Victoria Pruitt