Community residents and leaders were joined by Deputy Mayor Andrea Zopp, and Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) CEO Eugene Jones Jr. today to break ground on the iconic Lathrop redevelopment. Situated between the Bucktown and Roscoe Village neighborhoods, Lathrop, a key part of CHA’s Plan for Transformation, is a 34-acre site bordered by the Chicago River that will include 1,116 mixed income residential housing units, as well as significant green and open space.
“Today, we celebrate a new beginning and a victory for the Lathrop community as we renew our commitment to bringing more affordable housing, economic development, green space and new access to our beautiful Chicago River in this historic neighborhood,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Partnerships like this are what make our city great, and help build strong and vibrant communities where our families and seniors can live, work, and enjoy all of the opportunities that our city has to offer.”
Phase I of the plan includes the comprehensive renovation of 16 buildings and Lathrop’s open space and property north of Diversey Parkway. 414 residential apartments will be fully remodeled featuring contemporary floor plans and finishes. Each residence, regardless of the resident’s income, will contain identical features and finishes, all reflecting modern designs.
Under the renovation plan, a scenic state-of-the-art landscaped riverwalk will be added to the property, creating access to the Chicago River that did not previously exist, and amenities such as a dog park, children’s playground and kayak launch.
“This is a momentous day for all of us who have worked hand in hand with Lathrop residents to create a future that will bring greater opportunity to this community,” said CHA CEO Eugene
Jones, Jr. “This embodies our longstanding commitment to Lathrop residents and our work to bring more affordable housing to the North Side. CHA is grateful for the partnership with residents, the City of Chicago and Lathrop Community Partners for making the vision for Lathrop a reality.”
The new Lathrop will balance the physical rebirth of Lathrop’s aging apartment buildings with a commitment to retain their widely admired architectural aesthetic. 19 of the 31 existing historic structures will be preserved. The scenery outside the buildings, including an iconic swath of green space known as the Great Lawn, was originally designed by legendary landscape architect Jens Jensen. It will be fully rehabilitated and updated by landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates known for their work on Maggie Daley Park, and The 606 trail.
“This groundbreaking is a momentous occasion,” said 1st Ward Alderman Proco Joe Moreno. “It marks the beginning of a new era of affordable housing opportunities in the Logan Square community. After nearly a decade and a half of delay, the redevelopment of the Lathrop is finally ready to begin. In the next few years, modern, high-quality affordable housing units will finally be provided to the current residents of Lathrop, who have patiently endured living in less-than-optimal conditions. Additionally, several hundred more affordable units will be made available to the public, addressing the great need for affordable housing on the north side of Chicago.
Working with the Chicago Housing Authority and the Lathrop Community Partners, I am very pleased to soon be able to improve the living conditions of my Lathrop constituents and to soon significantly expand affordable housing opportunities in the 1st ward.”
The revitalization of Lathrop was made possible through an unprecedented collaboration between Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, Heartland Housing, and Related Midwest who formed Lathrop Community Partners. Together with community residents, housing advocates and the CHA, Lathrop Community Partners hosted more than 150 meetings to discuss the revitalization. The input received is reflected in a series of modifications made to the final plan, including the commitment to preserve and honor Lathrop’s original name.
“We’ve been honored to work with Lathrop residents, affordable housing advocates, Mayor Emanuel and Alderman Moreno to renew the proud legacy of this historic site,” said Curt Bailey, President of Related Midwest. “We are committed to investing in the communities where we work and live. Lathrop revitalization is setting a new standard for mixed-income living and riverfront restoration in Chicago and across the world.”
Reflecting Lathrop Communities Partners and the CHA’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and community hiring, the team is committed to exceeding local requirements for the hiring of minority and women-owned businesses, along with the hiring of Section 3 residents and Section 3 businesses.
Lathrop’s revitalization will create more than 17 acres of open space. This includes:
-State-of-the-art riverfront restoration which includes a ½ mile pedestrian riverwalk with pathways, bridges, kayak launch and native plantings;
-A two-acre Great Lawn with connection from Clybourn Ave. to the riverfront recreation, open to the entire community; and
-An updated Elizabeth Wood Park featuring a new Michael Van Valkenburgh playlot
When all phases of the revitalization are complete, Lathrop will include 1,116 rental apartments, with 504 units leased at market rates, 212 offered to working families that meet affordable housing guidelines, and 504 reserved for CHA households. Phase 1 is expected to be completed by mid- 2018.
An official website has been launched for Lathrop, please visit www.lathropchicago.com for more information.
About Lathrop Community Partners:
Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation is a 50-year-old award-winning nonprofit community development corporation dedicated to community controlled development, the preservation and management of affordable housing, economic development centered on job creation, comprehensive community planning and engagement, and the development of community leaders.
Heartland Housing is a community housing development organization which facilitates the development of people through the preservation and creation of affordable and supportive housing with a priority in meeting the needs of homeless persons and families, very low income individuals, and persons with chronic disabilities. As one of the first supportive housing developers in the country to combine the development of affordable housing with supportive services for residents, Heartland Housing was founded in 1988. Over the past 29 years, Heartland Housing has established itself as one of the leading non-profit affordable housing developers in the Midwest.
Related Midwest, is the pre-eminent developer of luxury condominium and rental homes, master-planned, mixed-use, and affordable housing. Recognized for innovation and market-defining developments for more than 25 years, Related Midwest has reshaped residential living throughout Chicago a deep-rooted history of excellence.