WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined local officials and residents of the Woodlawn community to celebrate the first market rate units of rental housing to be constructed in Woodlawn in more than 40 years. A community celebration commemorating the grand opening of the new $12.5 million Trianon Lofts was the latest milestone in the Woodlawn renaissance and another sign that the neighborhood is once again a destination where people are choosing to live and to work.
“Trianon Lofts demonstrates the City of Chicago’s commitment to building stronger, safer communities with more housing and better economic opportunities,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “Today’s grand opening represents the latest step in Woodlawn’s rebirth and reflects the hard work and commitment of Preservation of Affordable Housing and our other community partners.”
The new four-story apartment building has 24 two-bedroom apartments and is named for the former historic Trianon ballroom. It is located at the southeast corner of 61st and Cottage Grove, directly across from the site of the new Jewel-Osco grocery and pharmacy scheduled to start construction in early 2018, and adjacent to the University of Chicago’s south campus. The development includes 7,000 square feet of fully-leased commercial space on the ground floor, featuring Teeny Tiny University, a new daycare center.
POAH and the City of Chicago were awarded a $30.5 million Housing and Urban Development Choice Neighborhoods Initiative grant in 2011. Since then, POAH has leveraged those funds into $410 million in new housing, retail, institutional and civic investment, far exceeding the $200 million goal set by HUD and doing it one year earlier than required. The collaborative community development investments and partnerships are having a dramatic impact on economic vitality and quality of life in Woodlawn. The population has grown 15 percent, the first increase in decades, new jobs are being created, the number of vacant properties has plummeted and violent crime has fallen by 40 percent.
Besides Trianon Lofts, the investment has created six new buildings along the Cottage Grove Corridor and nearly 800 new units of market and affordable housing across Woodlawn. These include new senior and family housing buildings, The Grant, The Jackson and The Burnham; neighborhood amenities like MetroSquash, offering year-round recreation and mentoring programs for the area’s youth; and The Woodlawn Resource Center, providing job placement and training services for people of all ages.
The HUD grant and these resulting developments have catalyzed investments from community partners like the University of Chicago, Greenline Development, KMW Communities, and others. The community’s rebirth is being further accelerated by proximity to the planned Obama Presidential Center, only minutes from the Trianon, as well as Woodlawn Station, POAH’s innovative transit oriented mixed-use development that began construction in April 2017, and plans to redevelop the CTA’s Green Line Station at 63rd Street and South Cottage Grove.
“Thanks to the involvement and partnership of neighborhood organizations, financial and educational institutions, small businesses, and the community, Woodlawn is becoming a national model for how to transform under-resourced and underserved urban neighborhoods into new communities of choice,” said CEO Aaron Gornstein of POAH and developer of Trianon Lofts.
The financing for the new Trianon Lofts comes from: HUD Choice Grant funds; The City of Chicago; the Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF); the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC); JP Morgan Chase; and BMO Harris.
“These are exciting days for Woodlawn, and I am proud to be part of it,” said Tobias Spears, one of the first new residents at Trianon Lofts. “It’s great to see this community growing and becoming more diverse. And I’m sure that new housing like this will help attract even more people, from professionals and graduate students to artists, working families and individuals, which will only add to Woodlawn’s vitality.”