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Proposal For Logan Square CTA Blue Line Lot Calls For 100% Affordable Housing

By Stephen Gossett in News on Dec 22, 2016 7:06PM

Logan Square has many times found itself at the center of the affordable housing debate and how transit-oriented developments figure into the crisis. But a proposal for a potential residential development, which would take root directly adjacent to the Logan Square Blue Line stop, calls for 100 percent affordable housing. Just as notably, it appears to have at least some partial support from the alderman’s office.

The site in question is an underused surface parking lot at Emmett Street, next to the CTA station. A group called the United Neighbors of the 35th Ward, which is chaired by Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, has been appealing to nearby residents for support of the project.

The parking lot has been the subject of development conversations for years—not surprising considering its proximity to transit and the neighborhood’s ever-growing demand for housing units and commercial space. Meetings in 2014, hosted by then-alderman Rey Colon and the Metropolitan Planning Council kicked around a variety of potential options. Perhaps unsurprisingly, residents overwhelmingly favored affordable housing, along with green space amenities.

Ramirez-Rosa has been a vocal advocate for affordable housing, but has also distanced himself slightly from UN35 as the situation plays out. A statement sent to Curbed from his office reads cautiously political:

"Since taking office, Alderman Ramirez-Rosa has been approached by multiple developers (for-profit and nonprofit) to discuss the Emmett Street lot. Alderman Ramirez-Rosa has used this as an opportunity to underline the community's desire for the lot (affordable housing, green space, community market) to these prospective developers. Alderman Ramirez-Rosa remains committed to developing the Emmett Street lot in accordance with the community's desire for the lot. To this extent, should any development proposal meet the community's desire laid out during the MPC process and prove to be economically viable, Alderman Ramirez-Rosa will take this proposal to the public under his 35th Ward Community-Driven Zoning and Development process."

Among the considerations is how much of the area might go to green space, parks or other community facilities. Logan Square Preservation, for instance has argued in favor of considering such possibilities in addition to affordable housing.

However it shakes out, a very desirable area in the booming Logan Square community could like quite a bit different in the near future—and, from the perspective of many residents, for the better.

[H/T Curbed]