Mayor Richard M. Daley, U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky and Chicago Housing Authority and other officials today dedicated Kenmore Senior Apartments, a green renovation of a vacant apartment building that will provide 100 units of affordable housing in the City’s Uptown community.
“The completion of this project and the re-opening of this building represents our commitment both to helping senior citizens enjoy a high quality of life and creating community anchors that keep our neighborhoods strong,” Daley said at the site, 5040 N. Kenmore Avenue.
Daley said that one of the most important aspects of the redevelopment of the Kenmore is that it includes many new green initiatives, which are an important part of all “quality of life” issues in Chicago.
The rehabilitation of the building, which had been vacant since 2005, has been designed to achieve LEED Platinum level certification.
It features such green elements as energy efficient mechanical and lighting systems, landscaping that helps manage storm water in an inviting, scenic courtyard, large windows to increase natural lighting and air circulation and a green roof.
“It’s important that we provide seniors with affordable and accessible housing and the opportunity to enjoy a comfortable, secure living environment,” Daley said. It’s important for us to keep seniors here, so they can remain near their friends, family members and places of worship.”
The Mayor said the City took on that challenge in 2006 when it announced its five- year senior housing plan, which called for the construction of 4,000 new units of housing by the end of 2010. That goal was met ahead of schedule.
He said the completion of this project also represents another step forward for Plan for Transformation -- the commitment made by the City in 1999 to demolish the unfit housing in the Chicago’s public housing system and replace it with 25,000 new or rehabilitated units, including nearly 9,400 senior units. To date, 20,288 new units have been completed, or 81 percent of the goal.
The green renovation of the Kenmore was undertaken with the help of a $16.8 million grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Daley praised the U.S. Department of Housing and Development as one of the City’s most constant partners in its efforts to increase the amount of affordable housing available in Chicago.
“The Kenmore Senior Apartments are a wonderful example of federal investment dollars being used to support innovative, environmentally sustainable, affordable, and attractive housing for seniors,” Rep. Schakowsky said. “They also demonstrate how environmentally responsible urban planning and development can launch us into the future. And they’ll have the mark of innovation to prove it with LEED certification, hopefully at the Platinum level.”
Daley said that overall, Chicago received the second highest level of economic stimulus funding per capita for Housing & Energy projects of all major U.S. cities -- $430 million.
He also thanked Redstone Equity Partners, Bank of America and MetLife, private-sector partners who took part in the financing of the Kenmore.
“That kind of collaboration has been a mark of our efforts to transform public housing in Chicago. It is why we have been able to come as far as we have,” Daley said.
“The Kenmore is another prime example of an approach that has helped revive and sustain entire neighborhoods and improved the quality of life for every resident of Chicago – not just those who live in these new buildings and communities,” he said.
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