Parkway Gardens residential complex put up for sale
Parkway Gardens, one of Chicago’s largest and most notorious affordable housing complexes, is for sale.
Associate Midwest, the real estate and development company that owns the massive Woodlawn property, is seeking a buyer for 694 apartments in nearly three dozen buildings. The 13-acre campus stretches from 63rd to 65th Street between Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Calumet Avenue.
The most important marketing feature for potential buyers is a contract with the federal housing authorities that guarantees subsidized rent for years to come.
What is not mentioned: the gun violence that plagued Parkway Gardens and surrounding areas for years. Part of King Drive along Parkway Gardens known as “O Block” – a reference to a gang member who was killed nearby – was once the most dangerous block in town.
The related agreement to acquire Parkway Gardens in 2011, it included the use of $ 59.5 million in tax-exempt bonds from the Illinois Housing Development Authority. The additional money included $ 28.8 million in Wells Fargo equity from low-rental housing tax credits and $ 9.9 million in historic rehabilitation tax credits.
Partner rehabilitated the apartments after the purchase, completing the work in 2014.
A spokesperson for Related declined to answer questions about the sale, but in a written statement said: “While we run Parkway Gardens, we are grateful that we have been able to provide fundamental upgrades while establishing partnerships with community organizations to bring new programs and services to residents. We are actively seeking new leaders who will build on our efforts and continue to maintain the property as affordable housing for years to come.
There is no asking price listed by Affordable Housing Advisors, an affordable housing broker, who posted a video featuring drone footage of the property.
Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th), whose neighborhood includes Parkway Gardens, said Related had been a terrible landlord, describing a multitude of issues ranging from water damage and broken elevators to pests and rodents.
“It’s a puzzle for them. They couldn’t do anything about it and didn’t want to be given a bad image because they want to continue working with the city, so they’re trying to get rid of it, ”Taylor said.
Jennifer Maddox, a Chicago police officer who runs Future Ties, a nonprofit that runs after-school programs from the basement of a building in Parkway Gardens, said many residents were in short supply. basic services and suffered while waiting weeks or months for repairs.
“There are 3,000 people living here, most of them live on around $ 16,000 a year, many of these people with families, and there is no social service entity to provide support,” Maddox said. .
“Residents deserve better. And the violence on property overshadows the good things and residents who work hard and do what they need to do. So it’s frustrating for them because they have a bad reputation just because they live here, ”she said.
Corey Brooks, whose New Beginnings Church is next door to Parkway Gardens, said he learned of the potential sale from an associate representative.
“They felt that they contributed 10 years of hard work to Parkway, beautifying and improving it, and it’s time to move on,” Brooks said.
Brooks said he expects the community, including many Parkway Gardens residents who are members of his church, to support efforts to get the apartment complex into responsible hands. .
“I don’t have a grudge against Related, but I just wish that people who make money in certain areas do more for the communities where they make money,” he said.