Developers team up on $12.5M apartment project on near-north side

A north-side community group and a locally based development company are partnering on a $12.5 million apartment project at the southeast corner of Illinois and 22nd streets.

The project, which does not yet have a formal name, is expected to have about 60 affordable, one- and two-bedroom apartment units in two buildings constructed on 1.2 acres.

The 51,800-square-foot complex will include a four-story building facing 22nd Street and a three-story building facing Illinois Street. Plans call for a 60-space parking lot to the rear of the buildings, as well as 2,500 square feet of commercial space and 2,000 square feet of amenity space.

Near North Development Corp. and Fishers-based RealAmerica LLC partnered on the project after Near North put out a request for proposals in late 2018.

The complex is expected to target tenants making 30%, 40%, 50% and 80% of the area’s median household income, or AMI, of about $59,566, said Michael Osborne, president of Near North.

Rent for a one-bedroom unit at the 80% AMI level will be around $800 per month, while a two-bedroom unit will cost about $950 per month. Rents will be adjusted downward for those in lower income brackets, he said.

“We need to develop properties that ensure that over the long-term, as the area gets hotter and more investment occurs, there’s still a place for folks of more modest means,” Osborne said.

The project will be financed through private debt as well as federal low-income housing tax credits. The tax credits require the development to remain open to lower-income households for at least 15 years, Osborne said.

Once construction is finished, the development will be owned either outright by RealAmerica or as a partnership between the firm and Near North.

Developers will present plans for the project to the Metropolitan Development Commission Hearing Examiner on Thursday as they seek the rezoning of the land from C-4, commercial, to MU-2, which allows for mixed-use developments.

The developers are also seeking approval of variances for the height of the building, 55 feet, as well as a zero-foot setback and no interior landscaping in one part of the development.

City staff is recommending approval of the rezoning request and height variance, but recommended the hearing examiner deny the setback request.

In addition to the apartments, the development will feature “community focused” commercial space, Osborne said. Near North is considering moving its offices into the north-facing building, but other office or small retail tenants could move into the space instead.

The three-story Illinois Street building will contain only apartments, while the 22nd Street building will have apartments, commercial space, a lobby, workout room and other amenities.

There will also likely be a small green space with benches and other seating areas as part of the project, Osborne said.

He said the development presents an opportunity for Near North to use a plot of land it’s owned for more than 20 years. The group has owned the northern half of the block since at least 1998, and has rights to build on the southern half of the block, which has been owned by Redline Holdings II LLC since April.

Part of the site was home to the Excelsior Laundry and Cleaners for more than 20 years and requires remediation before construction can begin, Osborne said.

Remediation work is expected to start in early 2020, with construction on the apartments starting in the summer. The project is slated for completion by the end of 2021, Osborne said.

RealAmerica’s in-house design team is handling architecture on the project.

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