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For Immediate Release

Contact: Marilyn Katz

mkatz@mkcpr.com or 312.822.0505

An Innovative Partnership Transforms the Former North Lawndale Public Housing Complex to Vibrant Mixed-Use and Mixed-Income Development

Park Douglas Grand Opening Marks the Completion of the First Phase of New Affordable and Market Rate Housing for the Westside Community


Chicago (July 31, 2012) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel, leaders of Sinai Health System, the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and members of the community gathered today on a block formerly dominated by a CHA public housing project to celebrate the grand opening of Park Douglas, a newly constructed $44.1 million, 137 unit mixed-income complex, with City investment including loans, tax credits and land write-downs totaling more than $10 million.

Conceived by the City of Chicago, the CHA, the development team of Brinshore-Michaels and Sinai Health System, the parent organization to Mount Sinai Hospital, the 137-unit Park Douglas Apartments are the first phase of an ambitious master-planned development that, when complete, will be host to a new hospital and ambulatory care center for Sinai Health System and 300 restored or newly built apartments between Roosevelt Road and 14th Street, California and Talman.

“The opening of Park Douglas represents an important milestone for North Lawndale and the City’s ongoing efforts to support safe, affordable housing for local families,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

The total construction cost was approximately $44.1 million with other funding sources including the Chicago Housing Authority, Local Initiative Support Corporation Chicago (LISC), JP Morgan Chase, IFF, Fallbrook Capital and Richman Capital Group.

“The old CHA superblock has been broken up to make way for a very ambitious project to transform the former Lawndale public housing complex, and the vacant and dilapidated blocks surrounding the North Lawndale community, into affordable rental and market rate housing,” said Steve Koch, Board Chair, Mount Sinai Health System. “We are proud of the progress made on this master planned development and honored to mark this important milestone and innovative partnership that made it possible.”

In 2010, the City of Chicago, Mount Sinai Hospital, Brinshore-Michaels and the CHA undertook a unique collaborative strategy to redevelop the former site of troubled public housing across from Mount Sinai Hospital. The CHA agreed to swap land with Mount Sinai Hospital to enable the construction of a new state of the art ambulatory care facility, while Brinshore-Michaels develops 300 mixed-income housing units that will serve as affordable workforce housing for the hospital and other local businesses as well as replacement public housing for the CHA.

This first phase of redevelopment includes a new street built to divide the site between residential and hospital uses. The Park Douglas community features 137 rental units in 19 buildings, including a management office, maintenance facility and community space. In addition, Park Douglas is already completely occupied – a testament to just how much new quality affordable housing is needed in the neighborhood. Interstate Realty Management, a nationally accredited property management firm, is providing asset and property management services to Park Douglas, as well as supportive services programming to its residents.

When the planned development for the area is complete, this innovative and affordable new development will include both  rental and for-sale units, with infill buildings fitting snuggly between existing vintage buildings that have either been recently renovated or are prime candidates for future rehabilitation, as well as the new hospital and Outpatient Pavilion for Sinai Health System.

“Park Douglas is a great example of the positive results of a unique collaboration and ‘land swap’ involving Sinai Health System, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Housing Authority,” said David Brint, Brinshore-Michaels. “With its innovative combination of affordable rental housing and proximity to 170 acres of green space, the medical district and downtown, the first phase of the development is already working as an anchor for further neighborhood revitalization.”

The new contemporary buildings are 100% masonry with elements of traditional character such as brick and limestone accents to complement the historic architectural style of the North Lawndale community. In addition, Park Douglas incorporates green features in excess of the City of Chicago’s energy efficiency requirements, including high insulation values in windows, walls and roof; water detention approaches such as bio swales between buildings, permeable pavement in certain locations and downspouts which can be directed into green areas.