Affordable-Housing Complex to be Revitalized

August 09, 2011

A South Side Chicago real estate community of affordable apartments has been purchased with promises of upgrades and improvements.

Wells Fargo & Co. and Related Companies have acquired Parkway Gardens for $40 million and will invest another $60 million to preserve this 694-unit development as affordable housing over the next 30 years.

Parkway Gardens

Parkway Gardens

The property, located on Calumet Avenue right next to the University of Chicago, was the site of the White City Amusement Park from 1905 to 1939.

The complex of 35 buildings was built over 13 acres as co-op housing in 1955 and then converted to affordable housing in the mid ’70s.

Private investors bought the development in 1988. All the two- and three-bedroom homes are considered affordable housing, and the buildings have a waiting list. But there have been complaints that the homes are rundown.

New York-based Related Companies has promised to put more than $57,000 in improvements into each unit. The company’s Chicago office, Related Midwest, will oversee the renovations. In addition, amenity spaces will be added to the site and the buildings’ mechanical and structural systems will be updated.

This project is using $26.6 million in direct Low Income Housing Tax Credits, $9.9 million in Federal Historic Credits and $59.5 million in bonds from the Illinois Housing Development Authority under the New Issue Bond Program. In addition, Fannie Mae, via Oak Grove Capital, is providing credit enhancements for loans to the venture.

“Affordable housing is critical to the growth and stability of our nation’s cities and necessary for the continued success of the American economy,” said Mark Carbone, President of Related Affordable. “Related will continue to look for ways to create and preserve affordable housing opportunities and ensure residents of all income levels have access to a quality place to live and raise their families.”

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