CHICAGO—City officials celebrated Friday the $22.3 million renovation of the Harvest Commons apartments at 1519 W. Warren Boulevard.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Near West Side community leaders and site developers today for the formal re-opening of the complex, a designated City landmark that was converted into 89 low-income studios with on-site social services. Heartland Housing and First Baptist Congregational Church completed the project.
“Chicago’s neighborhoods are its backbone, and this affordable apartment project will allow those who love their community to stay in their community with affordable housing options and social services,” Mayor Emanuel said. “I will continue to work with community and private partners in the Eisenhower Corridor and throughout the city’s neighborhoods as we are all invested together in these projects that will allow a better quality of life for Chicagoans and their families.”
The redevelopment was made possible through $3.9 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) assistance and $1.2 million in donated tax credits. The city previously owned the building, valued at $2.3 million, and provided it to the developer for $1 through an RFP process.
Built in 1930 as the Union Park residential hotel and renamed The Viceroy in 1963, the six-story building primarily catered to itinerant guests before closing in 2006, when it was purchased by the city. The City Council designated the Art Deco structure as an official landmark in 2010.
"At Harvest Commons, nearly 90 Chicagoans will have a safe place to live and restart their lives," said Michael Goldberg, executive director of Heartland Housing, a division of the anti-poverty organization Heartland Alliance. "These renovated apartments along with on-site supportive services will help those who are the most vulnerable gain stability, improve their health, and develop job skills needed to improve their quality of life."
In addition to this project, more than $160 million in new development is moving forward within the Eisenhower Corridor, according to city officials. Priority city-assisted projects include the redevelopment of the Blue Line transit station at 430 S. Damen Avenue, new streetscape projects on portions of Damen and Fulton Street, a new bike station for commuters near the new Morgan Street Green Line transit station and improvements to Union Park.