Last week, the Hispanic Housing Development Corporation (HHDC) dedicated its 64-unit affordable housing building in Humboldt Park to Puerto Rican activist Pedro Albizu Campos. Notable city leaders, including Mayor Brandon Johnson and Alderperson Jessie Fuentes, were in attendance. The mixed-use building, which has reached full height, stands at 1203 N California Avenue across from the Humboldt Park grounds.
Designed by Pappageorge Haymes architects and built by Path Construction, the $40 million project is 60 percent complete and backed by various public and private entities, such as the City of Chicago Department of Housing, the Chicago Housing Authority, Merchants Capital, and ComEd’s Affordable Housing New Construction program.
HHDC’s CEO, Hipolito “Paul” Roldan, stated during the dedication that the building serves as a testament to Chicago and the State of Illinois’ ongoing commitment to affordable housing. He underscored its strategic importance in stabilizing Humboldt Park and counteracting gentrification in the area. The structure also aims to preserve Paseo Boricua, a stretch of Division Street officially recognized by the State of Illinois as a Puerto Rican cultural boulevard.
Pedro Albizu Campos (1893-1965) was the leader of the Puerto Rican Independence movement, touted as a champion for upholding Puerto Rican identity. Dedicating the affordable structure to Campos continues his legacy of upholding Puerto Rican values, this time by countering gentrification.
Since its 1975 founding, HHDC has developed 59 affordable housing projects across Chicago and other states. It currently manages over 8,000 units in 550 buildings and has a scholarship fund benefiting Latino graduate students in community development.
The 83,000-square-foot Transit Oriented Development (TOD) features 2,500 square feet of retail space and several amenities like an outdoor terrace and communal spaces. It also includes 49 bicycle storage spots and 19 vehicle parking spaces with EV charging stations. Located near bus service for CTA Routes 70 and 94, the building provides convenient transit options. Completion is expected in 2024.