Affordable housing investor makes two deals on the south side

Adding significantly to its Chicago properties, a national affordable housing investor has purchased two large apartment complexes on the South Side in recent weeks, promising to keep rents low while improving services for tenants.

Purchases by Jonathan Rose Cos include properties in Englewood and Woodlawn, opposite the Obama Presidential Center under construction, consisting of 485 apartments. Rose is a New York-based company that blends a profit motive with a stated mission to improve affordable housing and help communities.

“We believe in trying to make every property we buy a community of opportunity,” said Nathan Taft, partner and senior managing director at Rose. By the end of the year, he said, Rose will own about 2,000 apartments in the Chicago area.

The South Side acquisitions include local business management partnerships. Most units are registered with the Federal Section 8 housing support program that limits monthly payments for renters to 30% of their income.

In the Woodlawn deal, Rose purchased 318 units of Jackson Park Terrace, at 6040 S. Harper Ave. , in a joint venture with the Preservation of Affordable Housing, a national nonprofit group active in Woodlawn. The $25 million sale covers an adjacent 15-story high-rise, all near the site of the Obama Center in Jackson Park.

The units were built in 1973 by Woodlawn Community Development Corp. the former, which subsequently went into bankruptcy. The new owners pledged $4 million for structural repairs and improvements. They said the work will be performed by Chicago-based GMA Construction Group, known for its work at the Pullman National Monument Visitor Center. The owners also said they would work to improve access to social services.

Woodlawn residents have expressed concerns that the Obama project will bring development to the area, raising rents and evicting residents for extended periods. Taft said his company’s investment will help the region remain affordable.

Perhaps ironically, Jackson Park Terrace was created to provide affordable housing that the private market would not; The need now, Taft said, is to protect these valuable assets from market pressures.

In another Southside deal, Rose partnered with 5T Management to purchase a 13-building complex named Englewood Gardens for $10.7 million. The buildings represent 167 units and were owned by Chicago Community Development Corp.

Buildings spread from 6,500 to approximately 7,100 south, with addresses on streets such as Normal Boulevard, Eaglestone, Perry, Parnell, and Stewart.

5T will supervise the renovation which will include new floors in all units. The tenant also promised access to healthcare professionals and other service providers.

Southside Alderbaris praised the investments in comments from Rose. ald. Leslie Hurston (5The tenth) called the sale of Jackson Park Terrace “guarantee long-term affordability and more investment [that] Heartwarming, and I hope he’s a role model for others to be drawn to Woodlawn at this time of renewal.”

ald. Janet Taylor (20 .)The tenth), “Chicago is blessed with a large housing stock – having local developers working as a team with respected companies like Rose makes me confident that our community will have the resources we need to grow.”

Earlier this year, the company made another purchase in Chicago, purchasing the 146-unit Archer Courts project, at 2242 S. Princeton Ave. , for $11.6 million.

The company was founded in 1989 and owns about 18,000 apartments across the country.

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