SPRINGFIELD, IL (May 3, 2023)—Related Midwest, one of the region’s leading developers of affordable housing, has closed financing on a $44.8 million redevelopment of the Poplar Place affordable housing community. Working alongside development partner Capital City Coalition, NFP—an affiliated nonprofit of the Springfield Housing Authority—-Related Midwest anticipates beginning construction on a full rehabilitation and de-densification of the complex this month.
Originally constructed in 1950, Poplar Place spans 23 acres. The redevelopment will preserve and modernize 100 affordable housing apartments—encompassing 50 single-family and 25 duplex homes—through the transformation of 75 of Poplar Place’s buildings. This transformation is a result of a close collaboration with local elected officials and the City of Springfield.
The site also will be thoughtfully reconfigured to reduce density through increased green and open space. The plan will create a main entrance on Old Rochester Road and relocate the management office to the center of the site for enhanced accessibility and security. Additional amenities will include a Great Lawn area with 2.5 acres of park land, a community center and a playground.
“The renovation of Poplar Place will be transformative for the East Side of Springfield, and the greater Springfield community,” said Don Biernacki, Executive Vice President of Construction at Related Midwest and President of LR Contracting Company. “Poplar Place will be a vibrant affordable housing community that will have modern finishes and a new site plan that will include a community center and playground. We would like to thank Mayor Langfelder and the City Council for having the vision to see the future of Poplar Place, and we look forward to working with incoming Mayor Buscher, her staff, and City Council to continue this project’s bright promise.”
“There are different types of projects that can change the trajectory of a community and the renovation of Poplar Place will be one of those projects for Springfield,” said Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder. “The city, together with our partners, worked diligently for years to ensure the right pieces were in place in order for this redevelopment to happen. I am proud to have worked with everyone to help usher this through. We are not only redeveloping an area—we will be changing people’s lives.”
“I appreciate the conversations that have taken place and partnerships that have been created to make this project a reality,” said Alderman Roy Williams. “As the Alderman of this area, our neighbors and residents have wanted this for quite some time. Through the community forums and discussions, voices have been heard, and this project will finally be underway.”
Related Midwest’s rehabilitation of Poplar Place builds on the company’s mission to preserve and improve affordable housing. As one of the largest owners and operators of affordable housing in the Midwest, Related Midwest has never converted an affordable unit to market rate. The company’s rehabilitation of this property, designed by Evan Lloyd Architects and constructed by Related Midwest’s LR Contracting Company, includes modernizing interior finishes; replacing kitchens and bathrooms; and installing energy-efficient appliances, new lighting and new heating systems. Features of the new apartments will include wide-plank flooring throughout, new Whirlpool stainless-steel appliances, Delta fixtures and accessories, and in-home washers and dryers. The extensive exterior renovation work involves installing new roofing and windows and the removal and replacement of exterior siding. Additionally, a one-car car garage will be newly constructed for each of the 50 single-family homes.
“This public-private partnership will use federal, state and local resources to transform and revitalize housing built just after World War II,” said Illinois Housing Development Authority Executive Director Kristin Faust. “The redevelopment of Poplar Place is a wonderful team effort, and I am excited to see it come to fruition for residents. Congratulations to everyone involved.”
“When I was growing up in Springfield, Poplar Place was a pillar of the community that many families called home. It is a wonderful moment for the city that this valuable resource for affordable housing will be given a new life,” said Jackie Newman, Executive Director for the Springfield Housing Authority (SHA) and President of Capital City Coalition NFP. “SHA and our nonprofit partner Capital City Coalition are proud to partner with Related Midwest and the City on this important work, which will revitalize Poplar Place for a new generation of families.”