Land deals are first step in South Chicago green project

The Community Development Commission approved the sale of two parcels in South Chicago Tuesday, marking the first step in the development of a LEED-certified pilot neighborhood. The CDC earlier approved five developers as winning bidders for the project, which calls for the redevelopment 64 vacant parcels into eco-friendly housing.

Courtyard Flats, LLC, a joint venture between UrbanWorks Architects Ltd. and DENCO Construction Management, LLC, was approved to purchase the properties at 8401, 8402, 8405, 8406, 8409, 8411, 8415, 8419 and 8421 S Baker Ave, and 8434 S Brandon Ave.

Courtyard Flats is planning 10 three-flat condo buildings with three units each, 10 percent of which will be designated as affordable housing. The units will have three bedrooms and 1.5 baths, and prices will start in the low $200s for the affordable units.

The development’s green features will include outdoor green spaces, native plants, designated recycling areas and permeable parking surfaces. Green space will occupy 25 percent of the roofs as well.

Interior features include non-toxic low-VOC paints, low-flow toilets and faucets, and high-efficiency furnaces.

Buyers will also be able to combine two 1,200 square foot units into a 2,400-square-foot duplex, designed to appeal to the “extended family models and intergenerational families in the area,” said Patricia Saldana Natke, president of UrbanWorks Architects.

Also at yesterday’s meeting, Chicago Lakefront, LLC was approved to purchase the properties at 8301, 8323, 8458 and 8832 S Burley Ave, and 8304, 8306, 8308, 8319, 8323, 8333, 8339, 8408, 8427, and 8448 S Buffalo Ave.

Chicago Lakefront’s purchase will be for 15 lots on which they will build 27 units: 12 single-family homes, one three-flat building and two six-flat buildings. The units will maximize natural light with large bay windows and will use recycled and renewable construction materials. Prices on these units will range from the $200s to the $350s.

Chicago Lakefront is also working to acheive a Gold LEED certification, the second highest honor awarded, on all their buildings.

Neither developer is receiving any public subsidies for their projects, and both will be absorbing the $1,500-per-unit cost of testing and certifying through the U.S. Green Building Council.

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