CityPads nets key green light for $40M Near North Side apartments

Developer aims to fill ‘missing middle’ in Chicago’s housing market

CityPads' Andy Ahitow with 1535 North Fremont
CityPads' Andy Ahitow with 1535 North Fremont (Linked, NORR, Getty)

CityPads is rearing to go on a $40 million mid-market apartment development in the Near North Side community.

The Chicago Plan Commission granted approval for the project at 1535 North Fremont Street, which will feature a five-story building with 132 residential units and more than 6,000 square feet of retail space, Urbanize Chicago reported.

The development is meant to further CityPads founder Andy Ahitow’s goal to fill the “missing middle” in Chicago’s housing market by providing more options for moderate-income renters.

“Not enough developers are building apartments that average people can afford,” Ahitow told Crain’s in December.

The developer plans to cap future renters’ income so the bulk of residents fall under the “missing middle” category. Although some units will be considered fully affordable, most will be reserved for those making up to 140 percent of the area median income, or around $100,000 per year. 

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Of the 132 units, plans call for 112 studios, 12 one-bedrooms and eight two two-bedrooms, with 26 units considered fully affordable, or meant for renters making 60 percent of the area median income. Those 26 units will satisfy nearly all of the developer’s obligation to provide affordable housing with the project under the city’s requirements, while it will pay a $60,000 cash in lieu fee to the city’s affordable housing fund to satisfy the remaining obligation.

Other site features include 20 parking spaces, 132 bicycle spaces and a large outdoor garden with some private terraces.

The first-floor podium will have a dark brick exterior, and the levels above will consist of a three-color fiber cement panel facade that alternates every four windows. Residents will have access to a small rooftop deck and public transit stops nearby.

CityPads is targeting the end of 2024 as the completion date, but the developer has to gain final zoning approval from the city council first.

— Quinn Donoghue

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