Parkside of Old Town Provides Mix of Public, Affordable and Market Rate Housing
Mayor Richard M. Daley, joined by U.S. Senator Richard Durbin and Chicago Housing Authority officials, today dedicated Parkside of Old Town, a mixed income community that represents the first replacement housing to be built directly on the site of the former Cabrini Extension North high-rise buildings on the city's Near North Side.
"We began the Plan for Transformation in public housing in 1999 to replace unsafe high rise buildings with 25,000 new or rehabilitated units in mixed-income communities. But beyond mere numbers, we made a commitment then that the replacement housing wouldn't be cut off from the rest of the city, as the old CHA units were," Daley said in remarks delivered at 465 W. Division St. in the new community.
"Instead, our goal is to transform those old, isolated developments into vital communities where economically self-sufficient residents of mixed income levels live together in a neighborhood with good schools, jobs, shopping and housing," he said.
When complete, Parkside of Old Town will provide 776 total units. Of those, 233 will be public housing units, 155 affordable and 388 market-rate. The first phase of development includes 391 total units, including 107 public housing units, 62 affordable and 222 market rate units. Residents began occupying units in late 2007.
"Having access to quality housing is a catalyst for families to build better lives," Senator Durbin said. "Parkside of Old Town and similar mixed income communities will give low-income families a chance to live in a safe and clean environment, send their kids to better schools, find work and live free from fear and poverty."
Development amenities include new landscaping, new parking, new streets, new infrastructure and three commercial units. The community is part of the larger Old Town neighborhood that includes a new 18th District Police Station, the Walter Payton High School, Jenner Elementary School, a new Near North Public Library, expanded Seward and Stanton Parks and a new commercial shopping center.
"I've often said that the surest path to economic opportunity is to provide a good education -- but for the lowest-income families, we need to do more. We need to end the isolation that has trapped them in a cycle of poverty and failure," Daley said.
"In the upcoming year, CHA expects to deliver more than 1,000 new units for families and senior citizens, which will bring our total to more than 17,000 new or rehabbed units -- almost 70 per cent of our 25,000-unit goal," he said.
Cabrini-Green was a composite of four smaller developments built over a 20-year period, beginning in 1942. By 1962, it was one of the largest sites in the CHA inventory. Over the years, violence, gang activity, drugs and physical deterioration plagued the development.
The 19 acres originally contained eight buildings, consisting of 1,324 units. Demolition activities were completed in early 2008. Unit delivery began in late 2007. There are 10 public housing units delivered and occupied.
"At Cabrini-Green, strong people were able to make happy homes, but against great odds that they shouldn't have had to overcome," Daley said.
"The whole point of the Plan for Transformation was to end decades of isolation and segregation, to create vital new neighborhoods whose residents can participate fully in the economic and social fabric of our great city. We are proud of the progress we have made.
"We have partnered with developers, aldermen, civic leaders, business leaders and others to make this transformation real. Mixed income developments are clearly a success," he said.
The development team for Parkside of Old Town includes Holsten Real Estate Development for rental units, Kimball Hill Homes for units for sale and the Cabrini-Green Local Advisory Council.
The opportunity to transform their lives and to participate fully in the life of our city is available to every resident of the CHA, through the opportunity to live in quality housing and the comprehensive support services, job training, education and drug treatment that are available from city programs, Daley said.
"New housing creates a market for new retail businesses and other commercial developments. Pretty soon, you have a self-sustaining cycle of neighborhood transformation.
"Parkside of Old Town is a great example of how partners working together can help re-build and re-vitalize a neighborhood -- store by store and block by block -- so that the lives of all Chicagoans are improved," the Mayor said.