Developer Proposes to Build 68-unit Mixed-use Affordable Housing Complex on 5th Ave. in Maywood

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An architectural rendering of a proposed 68-unit apartment building, which ground-floor commercial space, that is being proposed for 800-820 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood. |

Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 8.39.38 PMWednesday, July 5, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

The nonprofit Interfaith Housing Development Corporation (IHDC) has proposed to construct a 68-unit apartment building that will include 4,500 square feet of ground-level commercial retail space on the site of a vacant lot at 800-820 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood, which is currently owned by the village.

According to an organization overview, IHDC’s mission is to “promote and develop long term affordable housing for low-income, underserved populations in collaboration with local communities.”

Over the 25 years that its been in existence, the nonprofit has created 16 housing developments that range from 15- to 135-unit projects, six of which involved renovating an existing structure and 10 of which were newly constructed developments. The budgets for those projects have ranged from $1.5 million to $22.4 million while the rental units have ranged “from efficiencies to large four-bedrooms.”

One of Interfaith’s more recent developments is Grove Apartments, a 51-unit affordable housing complex at the corner of Grove Ave. and Madison St. in Oak Park. Sugar Beet Food Co-op, a high-end grocery store and cafe, leases the first floor level.

The larger IHDC nonprofit created Interfaith Management Services in 2012 to “manage the portfolio of projects for which IHDC has an ownership interest,” according to the organization overview. The IMS manages 10 of the properties for which IHDC holds an ownership stake.

According to IHDC officials, the proposed development in Maywood will generate sales and property tax revenue since it will be held by a for-profit partnership. The new rental units will be available to single individuals and families. The building will be “very ‘green’,” and will include a solar hot water system.

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The vacant lot at 800-820 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood where Interfaith Housing Development Corporation is looking to build affordable housing. | Google Earth

IHDC officials said they’re willing to pay Maywood the full amount the land was appraised at. According to village documents, the land once was up for sale for $330,000, but it’s not known whether that price has changed or if it differs from the appraised value. Village officials were not available to comment on late Wednesday afternoon.

IHDC officials said that the project could amount to a more than $20 million investment in Maywood that “will bring jobs, housing and retail to downtown Maywood” and foot traffic to 5th Avenue, among other benefits. Officials also said that the development could bring in an estimated annual property tax revenue of around $60,000 to $70,000.

IHDC officials, who could not be reached for comment on Wednesday evening, presented their proposal at a June 14 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting.

In an interview on Wednesday afternoon, Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins said that representatives of the nonprofit will be back to present more information to the Board of Trustees at a later date.

IHDC officials noted in their summary that if the village agrees on a purchase price sometime this summer, the project could be on its way to completion by fall 2019. VFP

The drawing of a proposed 68-unit apartment complex with parking lots at 800-820 S. 5th Ave.

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7 thoughts on “Developer Proposes to Build 68-unit Mixed-use Affordable Housing Complex on 5th Ave. in Maywood

  1. Michael – do you have any information on the target tenant population? I believe this is the same developer who brought the previous proposal for this site – which was for homeless people to settle into more permanent housing. The apartment mix was mostly studio and 1 bedrooms, residents might be in some phase of addiction recovery … and the community was to be assured this would not present a problem because management would include a social worker on premises 24/7. The proposed tenant population was so needy they were not likely to be able to support the type of retail the village hopes to start attracting; there was little space in the back for resident children and thus they might be out front, detracting from a walkable-shopable streetscape. “Affordable housing” is differentiated from “low income housing” in that affordable housing sets rents at a level to allow teachers and police to be able to afford. That makes a big difference when you’re talking about the proposed tenant population.

    Also, I met someone earlier this year whose daughter lives in the building IHDC developed at Grove & Madison in Oak Park. She said the apartments were quite nice but the management has been horrendous and the conditions have declined – and that’s a new building. That’s just hearsay but it would be good to see what Oak Park building and police officials have experienced with that building and that management company, as well as other properties they manage.

    The rendering looks as thought there will be balconies. Is that so? Do you have information on the apartments? studios? 1 bedrooms? 2 bedrooms? etc. what amenities?

    Another concern which appears would still present itself is that the development requires overnight parking at the village-owned lot 1/2 block south. When the target resident population was a very needy type, there was concern that people with so little means might not be able to move their car every morning … and fines, etc. seemed just another layer of poverty for said tenants.

    Your article didn’t say these are the same developers who presented the previous proposal for PADs/Housing Forward, so if I’m wrong on that count, I’m sorry. But it does say they are the developers for Grove & Madison/Sugar Beet Coop which I understood is where the developers of the previous proposal for this site went when Maywood rejected their proposal.

    If you could find any of these matters out, that would be great. It would be a great service to the community.

    1. 68 apartments? They must be the size of a large closet. Let’s say it’s 68 units. Knowing (and observing) how a lot of folks in Maywood like to literally STUFF their houses and apartments with relatives and friends and “others”, a one bedroom could conceivably amount to 5 or 6 people; a two bedroom might be populated by 8 – 10 people. So let’s do some math. Let’s say half were 1 bedroom and half were two bedroom. We’ll multiply 34 x 5 and 34 x 8 and add together and get the potential of having 442 people in that building! Can YOU see 442 people living in the area of about 3/4’s of a block? I sure can’t. As a matter of fact I find it frightening.

      Do we know is IDH, which is a nonprofit 501(c)3, is exempt from paying taxes as a nonprofit? The lot can be sold but it’s conceivable that IDH may be granted tax exempt status in the future that is going to take what may start out as a source of tax revenue, to another property that is not putting money in Maywood’s coffers.

      Then we have the parking issues with this proposal, and there ARE a lot of parking issues. The police and/or code department don’t ticket overnight parkers (or even day time illegal parkers) even when you call them in. The whole idea with the system that was put in to obtain an over night parking permit was to gain revenue and keep our streets clear when it’s dark for easy emergency access should that be needed. Since the police and code departments don’t give a rat’s behind about enforcing laws or ordinances, I can see this growing into a massive problem for many blocks around this development.

      Last, but not least, we’ve all been working toward making Maywood a place that looks good, fulfills its municipal responsibilities to the residents, and above all KEEPS US SAFE. I think progress is being made to those ends. We have to keep in mind that anyone who wants to investigate buying a house in Maywood, or bringing a business to Maywood, is going to run the other way if they see 442 people hanging out windows and over balconies and loitering in the streets. And they will do that, mark my words! And I wouldn’t blame them. Let’s all put our efforts into fixing what we already have and not live in these visions so many of the Maywood administration of what Maywood should look like – visions are useless without a plan to achieve their goals. WHERE ARE THOSE PLANS, Mayor and Trustees? Thoughts without actions are just wisps of clouds in the sky.

  2. This project is a rehash of a previous proposal the was SOUNDLY REJECTED by the citizens of Maywood about 5 years or so ago at this location. First off, the scale is inappropriate at 5 or 6 floors and tiny apartments. Second, as some of the previous commentators had mentioned, it looks to cater to a low income population–is that what we need at this point in time in Maywood’s rebirth as a vibrant community? Everyone needs a place to live, and don’t want to sound unsympathetic, however that was the overwhelming reaction and rejection of the plan the last time by almost everyone that provided public comment–we already have a large and often poor population and don’t need several hundred more imported in to fill a building like this. A place like Oak Park can better absorb a project like this because its well developed with a retail base and large middle and upper middle class. Maywood is not, and the fear is that this will turn into a “Project” that we will be very sorry we allowed here, in fact, it may doom all the progress we have made in recent years. The town is looking the best its been in a generation, we are basically a bedroom community of mostly single family homes and this project will do nothing to help the progress we made–in fact it may doom us again.
    Projects like this are being rejected in communities in Chicago (most recently Jefferson Park) and nationwide. The builders make a good buck using tax credits then move on, and with a low income population, what types of businesses will be on the ground floor…perhaps another phone store, another hair place and if we are lucky a liquor store.
    This is the wrong development at the wrong time for Maywood and should be again soundly rejected by our citizens and village officials. We need legitimate tax paying businesses at this location that will add to the towns vitality and vibrancy. This developer needs to be told no, not in Maywood in no uncertain terms, we are better off with a vacant lot than this.

  3. Oak Park is no bed of roses for this type of development; with residents there complaining about the same issues raised in these comments when the same organization redeveloped Madison and Grove in Oak Park. However, contrary to one comment, there hasn’t been any major issues for Oak Park police at the apartment building.

    Meanwhile in Oak Park further east on Madison there is a proposal to build a Taco Bell on a vacant lot a block away from McDonald’s. The McDonald’s as compared to the Grove apartments is almost a constant location for trouble, and it is less than a block from Oak Park’s Village Hall/Police Headquarters. As to the management, Interfaith has a good reputation.

    Can the people in Madison/Grove afford to buy organic/hydroponically grown/local sourced kale downstairs in the Sugar Beet? No. But, they can go about three blocks east to shop at the Jewel.

    This building is an opportunity and, if managed correctly, could be an asset to the community. Maywood purchased the lot on 5th Avenue what 10 years ago, and there’s been nothing done to replace the taxes lost on it; like so many other VOM land deals.

    Take for example the Maywood Market. The Village sunk over $3 million into that project which failed in 14 months five years ago. Since then? Nothing, even less than nothing with the closing of Aldi’s. And that should be the issue.

    Want more indication that the Village is doing nothing? How about Robinson’s Towing?
    How about the land north of Burger King on 1st Avenue bought by the Village for $1.3 million? (See the relationship between the purchase of that land and Maywood Market.) Better yet, go across 1st Avenue to the Widow’s Home and adjacent vacant lots, all bought for $3 million plus the cost of demolition. The eastern part of the former American Can site is sitting vacant at 9th and St. Charles.

    What is the Village doing to get anything to come to 5th Avenue? Less than nothing? Well, the developers for the Oak Park Taco Bell may be looking for a place as their request for a zoning variance has reportedly failed as of last week. Is that the best Maywood can do when turning down Interfaith?

  4. Your observations are all valid above, however we still need to ponder the fact that the Interfaith project proposal would be dropping in a 5 story, potentially dense, low income targeted project where there is no other businesses; that is a potentially a recipe for disaster. No investors or homeowners of moderate or moderately affluent means is going to take a a chance and locate here if that is the only new development in the area, and god forbid if they don’t take care of the property as some commentators have mentioned. It may be a noble project, but its at the wrong time in the wrong town and would probably attract the wrong businesses on the ground level, if any. We need solid, tax paying retail and restaurant development along this main corridor. The village needs to think outside the box and get the right mix in here, every surrounding community with similar demographics has this now except us. Just my input again, but I think we are better off with nothing there for the short term than a wrong project that could potentially set us backward, and if this one does, it will be for another generation. Right now, I’d rather accept the Taco Bell!

    1. Similar to my thinking. The quality of work at Lillie Plaza, kitty-corner at 5th & School, is superb. The village should build on the investment those owners made to our community. I didn’t see in the article developer specifics about the target tenant population – a point I raised. Their organizational mission is quoted regarding low income, but I seem to recall the “affordable” adjective was thrown in elsewhere. That’s why I raised the question about the target tenant population. Affordable housing guidelines include police officers and teachers, which can make a big difference. Meanwhile, the village could invest in creative place-making … with temporary use of its various properties. Just basic grass – such as the corner where Franklin Rugs used to be, or even across the street on 5th & School (NE corner) – would be a decent start. Beyond that, visually appealing, inviting pop-up events, and/or businesses could let new businesses know we’re serious about welcoming them to our town. The Civil War Living History event has done that for the past two years – drawn positive attention to 1st & Lake, with passers by optimistic and curious about what’s going on, what will develop there.

  5. I would greatly appreciate if someone would call me im looking for a studio apt and im homeless

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