Developer scores tax-break funds for apartments near Pilsen

A Chicago apartment developer has broken ground on a $65 million project just north of Pilsen, using a financing tool that’s popular in other big cities but has yet to catch on here.

A Chicago apartment developer has broken ground on a $65 million project just north of Pilsen, using a financing tool that’s popular in other big cities but has yet to catch on here.

Cedar Street and its partner, Chicago-based Origin Investments, began construction last month of Pilsen Gateway, a 202-unit high-end apartment building at the corner of Blue Island Avenue and 15th Street. The firms are financing the development through the federal opportunity zone program, which offers tax incentives to investors that finance projects in blighted areas.

Pilsen Gateway is one of the few opportunity zone projects underway in Chicago, and possibly the biggest. It is the first in Chicago for Origin, which launched an opportunity zone investment fund in 2018 but until now had bypassed opportunity zones in its hometown for those in cities like Phoenix, Charlotte and Houston.

Some investors say the program hasn’t taken off in Chicago because few of the city’s opportunity zones are in transitioning neighborhoods, places that need a boost but are in the path of development. Many are in depressed areas that are still too risky, even with tax incentives, the investors say.

But Pilsen Gateway sits within the University Village/Little Italy neighborhood on the edge of Pilsen, an area with strong growth potential that has already attracted plenty of investment. That’s one reason Origin invested in the project at 1461 S. Blue Island.

“It is one of the few transitioning neighborhoods” in a Chicago opportunity zone, said Origin Principal and co-founder Michael Episcope.

Keep Reading

Cedar Street has scored nearly $75 million in debt financing for a 342-unit office-to-apartments conversion in Uptown, one of several multifamily projects in the Chicago developer’s construction pipeline.

Some apartment communities are built from the ground up, and others are fashioned from existing structures. The Ardus, which recently opened in River North, is both — but it’s hard to tell by looking.

Time was, looking at brand-new apartment buildings meant managing your expectations. Sure, you might get a bright, fresh apartment with new appliances, a party room and an in-house fitness center.

Apartment dwellers have begun moving in above Miller’s Pub downtown, continuing a makeover of a drab stretch of Wabash Avenue beneath elevated trains.

The two-year transformation of Uptown’s former Combined Insurance building into a new striking apartment development known as the Draper is nearly complete.

A Chicago apartment developer has broken ground on a $65 million project just north of Pilsen, using a financing tool that’s popular in other big cities but has yet to catch on here.

A vintage office building just steps from the buzz of State Street has been transformed into 176 chic urban apartments in the River North neighborhood.

The 260 units, all studios and one-bedrooms, are positioned as a lower-priced alternative to the increasingly luxury-priced housing options in the neighborhood.

A Chicago developer paid more than $21 million this week for a pair of warehouses that will become part of a historic rehab project in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis.

A vintage office building just steps from the buzz of State Street has been transformed into 176 chic urban apartments.