Sustainable, Affordable Housing Development is Unveiled in Auburn-Gresham

A sustainable, affordable housing development and retail space has come to Auburn-Gresham.

548 Capital, a subsidiary of 548 Enterprise, partnered with the City of Chicago, ComEd, LISC Chicago, JPMorgan Chase and local minority-owned businesses to announce the successful realization of the affordable housing and retail spaces at 1376 W. 79th Street. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held this week to announce the development.

“We at 548 Enterprise are very proud to have partnered with the City on this synergistic project on 79th Street,” said AJ Patton, CEO and founder of 548 Enterprise. “The TIF program was vital to the project’s success, and we are grateful for the city program and Alderman Moore’s continued advocacy.”

The development encompasses 7,000 square feet of retail space and accommodates 11 commercial storefronts. The space also includes 28 affordable-housing residential units with cutting-edge, energy-efficient features such as a new variable refrigerant flow (VRF) HVAC system, high-performance windows and energy-efficient lighting. In the next development phase, rooftop solar photovoltaic panels will be installed, potentially contributing to a projected 33% to 50% reduction in energy consumption.

Financial backing for the project includes a $500,000 grant from the Department of Housing’s (DOH) Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Purchase Rehab program. Furthermore, LISC Chicago has provided a $1.5 million loan as part of its Entrepreneurs of Color Fund (EOCF), supporting the development’s commitment to fostering businesses. JPMorgan Chase has also played a crucial role by extending support through EOCF, facilitating access to loan capital for borrowers and projects outside traditional lending criteria.

“The completion of 1370 W. 79th Street renovation is a testament to the dedication of the DOH and developers like Patton, who strive to provide affordable housing in our communities,” said DOH’s Acting Commissioner Jim R. Horan. “In addition to providing the needed affordable housing, this project also serves as a representation for the continued revitalization and growth of the South Side of Chicago.”

This initiative represents a pivotal step in an ongoing campaign to advance building decarbonization and reduce communities’ reliance on fossil fuels by adopting more efficient energy technologies. In tandem with ComEd’s highly regarded energy efficiency program, which has generated over $8 billion in energy bill savings for families and businesses since 2008, ComEd’s Affordable Housing New Construction program, designed to incentivize energy-efficient building design, played a substantial role in the project.

Offering nearly $88,000 in incentives and ongoing technical assistance, this program facilitated the integration of high-efficiency building elements like heat pumps, HVAC systems, windows, and other features. These elements have demonstrated a significant reduction in energy usage, decreased carbon emissions, and improved air quality for the community, all made possible through ComEd’s valuable support.

“ComEd is proud to partner with 548 Capital on the development of new, high-efficiency housing and retail space along the historic 79th Street corridor,” said Gil C. Quiniones, CEO of ComEd. “This project will create long-term sustainability and economic benefits for this community and Chicago more broadly, advancing our goal of empowering customers to adopt higher efficiency equipment that will lower their energy usage, reduce carbon emissions and enhance air quality across all of our communities.”

The overall project expenses for 1370 W. 79th Street amount to $2.7 million, with the Department of Housing’s (DOH) Tax Increment Financing (TIF) grant playing a crucial role in facilitating the rehabilitation of the development. As per the stipulations outlined in the TIF Purchase Rehab program, Patton has committed to preserve nine out of the 28 residential units as affordable housing for individuals at 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for 10 years.

Other vital stakeholders contributing to the residential renovation project include the Chicago Department of Planning and Development and Ald. David Moore of the 17th Ward.

“Mixed-use development projects are vital to providing access to more affordable housing and businesses and steering Illinois toward a future of clean energy. AJ Patton and his team at 548 Capital have spearheaded these important developments across our city,” said David Moore, 17th Ward Alderman. “I also want to thank all of the groups that contributed to help bring this development to fruition and for their continued dedication to making the 17th ward a clean and efficient development space.”

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