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Parsons Apartments affordable TOD developer Bickerdike will build new eTOD at City Lit site

The Lucy Gonzalez Parsons apartments next to the Logan Blue Line stop. Photo: Steven Vance

In May 2022 affordable housing advocates rejoiced after the Lucy Gonzalez Parsons Apartments all-affordable transit-oriented development opened on a former city-owned parking lot site next just north of the Logan Square Blue Line station. It's a seven-story building with 100 affordable units in a prime location, convenient to 24-hour rapid transit and high-quality retail. It includes a 93-space bike room and 20 car parking spots.

The project, proposed by the affordable housing developer Bickerdike Corporation, overcame bitter resistance from a vocal group of mostly affluent professionals who lived nearby, who went as far as to file a lawsuit to stop it. The TOD is helping to prevent the displacement of longtime low-income and working-class residents from the gentrifying neighborhood, while making it easier for tenants to access education and job opportunities.

In March 2021 Block Club Chicago reported on a proposal for a second affordable TOD near the Logan stop. Evergreen Real Estate Group, a Chicago developer specializing in affordable housing, proposed an 80-unit development with 64 affordable apartments along with ground-floor retail at 2525 N. Kedzie Blvd, on the other side of the Logan Square traffic circle from the Parsons Apartment.

The City Lit site. Image: Google Maps
The City Lit site at 2525 N. Kedzie. Image: Google Maps
The City Lit site. Image: Google Maps

The site, which is the former location of the original Logan Square station entrance, is still CTA-owned property. It's currently occupied by a brick building that houses City Lit Books, along with a rear parking lot. The transit agency had recently issued a request for proposals inviting developers to submit ideas for projects at the site. The CTA sought high-quality affordable housing, an “increased and sustainable revenue stream to support the operations of the transit system,” and the “creation of high-quality transit-oriented development.”

David Block of Evergreen told Block Club the developer had not submitted its plan to the CTA but it had met with aldermen and community members multiple times. He added that it was likely the project would require a mix of public and private funding, including tax-increment financing money. The boundaries for the closest TIF district, the Milwaukee Avenue TIF, would need to be amended to include the site.

Streetsblog recently learned that the CTA selected Bickerdike over Evergreen to carry out the project, with the transit agency's board approving a 105-year lease on the site to the developer. So far Bickerdike has said the development will be all-affordable and include 6,000 square feet of street-facing retail space. The developer is proposing 105 units. No breakdown of the size of apartments was given.According to a Bickerdike spokesperson the number of car and bike parking spots has not been determined.

Streetsblog looks forward to sharing more updates as they become available. But it's great to hear that more affordable, transit-friendly housing is definitely coming to Logan Square.

Correction: This post previously referred to the building at 2525 N. Kedzie Ave. as "the former City Lit site," since the bookstore had previously gone out of business. However, the store reopened in June 2021 and is currently in business. Apologies for the mixup. 

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