Investor buys affordable housing site next to Obama Center

A New York City investor with a growing affordable housing portfolio snatched up another Chicago property across the street from the future Obama Presidential Center, this time in Jackson Park, on the south side.

Jonathan Rose Cos. paid $25 million for the 318-unit Jackson Park Terrace at 6040 South Harper Avenue, in partnership with the Preservation of Affordable Housing. Company officials said they would preserve the building as affordable housing, and spend about $4 million on upgrades. Its plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems, while POAH creates new health services and youth programs.

This should come as good news for the surrounding Woodlawn and South Shore communities. Some fear the Obama Center, which the builders ransacked last September, May raising local housing costs And drive out the working class residents.

“We feel it is both an obligation and a privilege to preserve this historic development,” Nathan Taft, partner at Jonathan Rose, said in a statement. “It is perhaps ironic that Jackson Park Terrace was built to provide affordable housing that would not be in the private market; the need now is to protect this valuable property from market pressure.”

Jackson Park Terrace was developed in 1973 by Woodlawn Community Development Corporation, a non-profit founded by Rev. Leon Finney Jr., the longtime head of the Woodlawn Organization. Filing for bankruptcy in 2018, the nonprofit fell on hard times after many of its properties were auctioned off. Phinney died in 2020,

But Taft said Jonathan Rose has the financial burden to maintain affordable housing properties for many years, and the Chicago market is a main focus. The company used the $525 million Rose Affordable Housing Preservation Fund V to complete the Jackson Park Terrace purchase, and also this year Bought Englewood GardensA portfolio of 13 apartment buildings in the Englewood neighborhood, as well as Archer Courts, a 146-unit community in Chinatown.

POAH has also been quite active in the South Side’s affordable housing market, preserving or developing over 1,000 Woodlawn units over the past 10 years.

“Growing up, living in and representing Chicago’s South Side, I have seen both good times and tough times, including challenging days when few were willing to provide investment in housing, stores and jobs, Which is needed by all communities and people,” he said. 5th Ward A.D. Leslie Hairston said in a statement. “The purchase of Jackson Park Terrace and the guarantee of the long-term affordability and further investment is gratifying, and I hope to be a model for others who have drawn to Woodlawn in this time of renovation.”

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