An official groundbreaking has been held for the mixed-use development at 1134 S Wood Street in the Illinois Medical District. Located near the intersection with W Roosevelt Road, it replaces an existing surface parking lot belonging to one of the developers. That being the Chicago Lighthouse, a local non-profit, who is partnering with Brinshore Development and Landon Bone Baker Architects on the first-of-its-kind building.
World-renowned Chicago Lighthouse is a city staple providing services for the blind, visually impaired, disabled, and veterans since its founding in 1906. They’ve operated out of their current building since it was dedicated by Helen Keller in 1955 offering vision rehabilitation services, education, employment opportunities, and assistive technology for over 67,000 people annually of all ages. Now they are looking to grow by developing the first residential project for those who are blind or visually impaired in the nation.
Dubbed the Foglia Residences, the nine-story 98-foot-tall structure will predominantly front S Wood Street bringing new life to the quickly growing medical district. The ground floor will contain a 1,500-square-foot retail space on the corner, a few parking spaces, residential lobby, small gym, and a ramp up to an additional 38 vehicle parking spaces on the second and third floor. The remaining floors will hold affordable apartments aimed at those making 30, 60, and 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).
The 76 residential units will consist of 18 studios, 40 one-bedroom, and 18 two-bedroom layouts with fully accessible private kitchens and restrooms. Of those, 40 will include additional features for those who are visibly impaired with the remaining being offered to veterans and the Chicago Housing Authority who will support the 19 units offered at 30 percent AMI. All aimed at the communities served by the Chicago Lighthouse, who operates a call center next door offering jobs to the blind who suffer from an 80 percent unemployment rate according to CBS.
The brick and metal panel clad structure will complement the existing building and offer a tower evoking the Chicago Lighthouse’s beacon of hope. It is being funded via Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, multi-family loans from the Department of Housing, Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credits, and tax exempt bonds. Slightly delayed from its original groundbreaking expected in May, McShane Construction is leading the work towards a mid-2024 completion date.