Structured Development has launched sales for the first phase of Harrison Row Townhomes, a development in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood that will eventually include up to 50 affordable townhomes at 2849-59 W. Congress Parkway.
The Chicago-based developer will complete the first seven residences—all three-bedroom plans averaging 1,200 square feet and priced from $229,000—this month, with a model unit scheduled to open November 20. The remainder of the units will be developed in a subsequent phase in 2021 and 2022.
In building the 50 townhomes, Structured Development will fulfill its obligation under the city of Chicago’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) as it pertains to the Shops at Big Deahl, a mixed-use complex the firm is developing at the southwest corner of Blackhawk and Kingsbury streets in Lincoln Park. That project is within the Near North/Near West ARO Pilot area, which raises the affordability requirement from 10 to 20 percent. While the first 10 percent of affordable units must be built on-site or within two miles, as long as they are in the same ARO zone, the remainder can be developed anywhere in the larger pilot area, which includes the East Garfield Park site.
Structured Development will also help third-party developers navigate their own affordability requirements. The first four townhomes in the Harrison Row Townhomes development will fulfill a portion of the off-site requirement for Peoria Green, a luxury condominium building in the West Loop being developed by ZSD Development.
“Not only are we delivering the affordable housing that Chicago’s ARO is intended to create, but we’re also giving other developers a way to get their projects to pencil out by leveraging economies of scale,” said Jeff Berta, senior director of real estate for Structured Development. “In this case, we acquired several smaller properties to assemble a larger site capable of accommodating more units—a model that reduces development costs and that can be scaled to other neighborhoods throughout Chicago.”
Under the ARO, the Harrison Row Townhomes are affordable to households at or below 100 percent of the area median income (AMI) but available to households earning up to 120 percent of AMI. Theyare required to remain affordable for at least 30 years. Qualifying buyers will be sourced through the Chicago Community Land Trust (CCLT), a nonprofit corporation administered and staffed by the Chicago Department of Housing that seeks to preserve the long-term affordability of homes created through city of Chicago programs, including the ARO.
“A key benefit of our model is that we’re able to create homeownership opportunities for low-income and working-class households in need of family-size units,” said Berta. “For the last several years, the inclusionary aspect of on-site affordable units has led to a majority of small, single-occupant units, replicating the current market-rate supply. But these studios and one-bedroom apartments don’t serve working class families. Our townhomes make it possible for families to establish more permanent roots in their community while building up equity as homeowners.”