In an action that will help bring new ownership to the long- troubled Barbara Jean Wright Court apartment complex and ensure the preservation and improvement of affordable housing in the rapidly changing University Village and Pilsen neighborhoods, the Board of Commissioners of the Chicago Housing Authority today agreed to provide the development’s new owners with funding for up to 160 apartments of the 272-unit complex.
Built in 1972 as a HUD financed development, the apartment complex was purchased by Chicago Community Development Corporation in 1996, which did a modest rehab of the apartments in 2001. In purchasing the building, Jonathan Rose Companies will pay off the existing $16,000,000 debt still owed to HUD and intend to spend another approximately $35,000,000 (or $130,000 per unit) on renovations and upgrades to the property both inside and out.
Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez said he thought that what Rose proposed, and CHA has made possible, fits well into the community.
Planned work includes, but is not limited to complete redo of apartments, including bathrooms, kitchens, lighting heating, cooling and flooring or floor and free Wi-Fi; upgrade of playground and basketball courts and revised landscaping throughout the 27 building complex with particular attention paid to problem areas; all needed exterior and systems upgrades including new roofs, HVAC, windows and tuckpointing; upgraded security measures and the construction of a 4,000 to 5,000 square foot community building for residents’ use.
Although this is the first formal action that Rose has sought from the CHA, Rose has been acquiring and preserving affordable housing properties in the Chicago-region since 2012. Rose currently has 1,500 dwellings in eight buildings that it currently owns or is under contract to own by year-end 2021.