Pilsen nonprofit proposes new 45-unit affordable apartment building

The Resurrection Project will host a meeting about the development on Wednesday at Dvorak Park.

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The corner of West 19th Street and South Racine Avenue in Pilsen.

The corner of West 19th Street and South Racine Avenue in Pilsen.

Carlos Ballesteros/Sun-Times

An established Pilsen nonprofit is looking to build a six-story, 45-unit apartment building for working class tenants in the heart of the neighborhood.

The site, which currently has a single-story vacant building and a large parking lot, is on the northwest corner of 19th Street and Racine Avenue – down the block from the old Casa Aztlan and Thalia Hall.

The Resurrection Project — a well-connected Pilsen nonprofit founded in 1990 — purchased the property in 2018 for $1 million from Patrick Heneghan, president of Heneghan Wrecking.

Plans for the $20 million project include at least one first-floor storefront and 20 one-bedroom apartments, 20 two-bedrooms, and 5 three-bedroom units, according to Veronica Gonzalez, vice president of real estate development at The Resurrection Project.

Tenants would have to apply for one of the new apartments through the nonprofit and make between $17,000 and $58,000 a year, or 30 to 60 percent of the area’s median income. Construction could start as early as 2021, Gonzalez said.

“This project would be in the middle of what people are now calling ‘East Pilsen’ — the area hardest hit by a lot of the investment coming into the neighborhood,” she said. “This is an exciting opportunity for us to bring affordable housing to the neighborhood.”

The former building of Lil’ Einstein Daycare Center. The Resurrection Project bought the property last year for $1 million.

The former building of Lil’ Einstein Daycare Center. The Resurrection Project bought the property last year.

Carlos Ballesteros/Sun-Times

The Resurrection Project, which is partnering with manufacturing firm Skender, will host a community meeting at the Dvorak Park field house on Wednesday at 6 p.m. to gather input on the plan from neighborhood residents.

Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) said members of his staff will be at the meeting.

“It’s always good to hear more proposals for affordable housing. Our job is to make sure the process is transparent and reflective of what the community wants,” he said.

The vacant building on the site was most recently occupied by Lil’ Einstein Daycare Center, which closed in May. According to Gonzalez, the daycare “was ready to go out of business.”

Carlos Ballesteros is a corps member inReport for America,a not-for-profit journalism program that aims to bolster Sun-Times coverage of Chicago’s South and West sides.

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