An official opening ceremony has been held for the new mixed-use development at 2602 N Emmett Street in Logan Square. Located on the intersection with W Kedzie Avenue, the completed project replaced a vacant parking lot adjacent to the CTA Blue Line at Logan Square station. Becoming the first Equitable Transit Oriented Development (ETOD) in the city, it was developed by local non-profit Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation who operates now over 2,000 affordable units across the city. Their team partnered with Chicago-based Landon Bone Baker Architects, also well known for their work on multiple affordable buildings.
The symbolic opening was attended by various officials including Mayor Lori Lightfoot and marked the end of a multi-year journey marred by a lawsuit from its neighbors claiming it would cause irreparable injury. Dubbed the Lucy Gonzalez Parsons Apartments after one of the nation’s first Black leaders of the labor movement, the all-affordable project received over 700 applications when its waitlist opened late last year demonstrating the necessity for the typology in the ever-gentrifying neighborhood. Exemplified by the increase in what is considered 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) from around $39,000 per year in 2021 for a single person to roughly $43,000 a year in 2022.
Rising seven stories tall, the building’s first floor will hold a residential lobby, common areas, bike storage, 20-vehicle parking spaces, a few apartments, as well as a 4,300-square-foot retail space along W Kedzie Avenue. Above that will be the remainder of the 100 residential units the structure holds, split into one-, two-, and three-bedroom layouts to accommodate small families. Of these, 50 will be offered to those making under 60 percent of the AMI while the other half will go to those with CHA vouchers, providing modern living to all behind its serrated pre-cast concrete façade accented with multi-color panels and doors.
The $41 million development will now begin welcoming new residents to the area, with plenty of access to public transportation including the aforementioned train station that also serves bus service for CTA Routes 56 and 76, as well as Route 82 via a six-minute walk. Linn-Mathes Inc serves as the general contractor for the project which was financed via Tax Increment Finance (TIF), bonds, and by the CHA itself. The monumental moment won’t be the last with other ETODs proposed around the city seeking permits, as well as recently announced potential changes to TOD zoning laws.