At a time when many are worried about maintaining their homes, South Chicago residents received the good news that the two nonprofit community developers that purchased the South Chicago YMCA a year ago, now have the funding needed to preserve and renew senior housing and redevelop its shuttered public space.
A year after the long-time South Chicago community group, Claretian Associates, and the national housing preservation entity, Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), partnered to acquire the 101-unit senior housing building that was formerly operated by the YWCA at 3039 East 91st Street, they will totally renovate both the apartments and its community space.
“Now, thanks to funding from the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago, we have the means to proceed,” said Bill Eager, senior vice president, POAH, Midwest region.
POAH will be the building’s property manager and the Claretian Associates will operate the supportive services and programs offered at the Salud Center. The project’s general contractor is Skender and redevelopment is being designed by Canopy Architecture.
Planned upgrades of the 91-year old building include modernizing apartments, replacing heating and cooling systems with energy efficient mechanicals, installing a new roof and landscaping. To ensure the safety and comfort for the tenants, the exterior renovations will begin in mid-2020 and apartment renovations in 2021.
As part of the project, the portion of the former YMCA recreational facilities that had been closed since 2017, will be transformed into a new 40,000-square-foot community facility—the Salud Center. Once completed, the new center will become a community anchor, offering health and wellness services, recreation and employment development programs and amenities that will be accessible to building residents and community members.
In addition to health and wellness services, the center will feature a business incubator and a recreation space to provide year-round benefits for people of all ages. The center will also be the new offices for the Claretian Associates.
“By partnering with POAH, we’ll not only revive an important community asset, but also create a wealth of new opportunities to build a stronger, healthier community,” said Angela Hurlock, executive director, Claretian Associates.
In early 2019, two years after the YMCA closed the recreation and community spaces, POAH and Claretian Associates acquired the building, and will now use Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and tax-exempt bonds, and a $1 million loan from Illinois Housing Development Authority, and a $4.65 million loan from the City of Chicago Department of Housing to capitalize the renovations. The funding sources ensure the affordability of the rental apartments for the next 40 years. The property is also supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through a Section 8 rental assistance contract.
“We’re excited and energized to be part of this unique partnership with the Claretian Associates,” said Eager. “It will allow us to offer the housing and wellness services that are so important to the community’s health and contribute in so many ways to the redevelopment of South Chicago.”