Developer Eyes Vacant Lots In Maywood, Bellwood To Build Housing For Disabled

Thursday, February 22, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: A street view perspective of a proposed multiunit housing development that IFF wants to build in Maywood and surrounding suburbs. | IFF 

A real estate developer is interested in buying up abandoned and foreclosed buildings, and vacant lots, in Maywood, Bellwood, Berwyn and Forest Park in order to build 16 multiunit rental housing developments tailored for disabled tenants.

Dena Bell, a development manager with Chicago-based IFF, presented the proposal to Maywood board members during a Feb. 20 regular meeting.

Bell said that IFF is seeking to purchase four vacant lots along 5th Avenue in Maywood that are currently owned by the Cook County Land Bank Authority. Those lots are located at 1902, 2009, 2024 and 2032 S. 5th Ave.

She added that IFF targeted the lots because they are close to the Roosevelt Road corridor, where Hines VA Hospital and Loyola Medical Center are located.

“IFF has indicated that this project will construct new high-quality housing for people with disabilities,” Josh Koonce, Maywood’s zoning officer, wrote in a Feb. 20 memo.

“The proposed buildings will include two apartments on each first floor and one second floor unit,” he wrote. “The buildings are high quality construction with innovative driveway treatment.”

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A location map in Maywood of where IFF wants to build multiunit affordable rental housing for disabled tenants. | IFF 

According to its website, IFF “is a mission-driven lender, real estate consultant, and developer that helps communities thrive by creating opportunities for low-income communities and people with disabilities.”

Bell said that phase one environmental assessments have already been completed on all of the Maywood sites, with one site possibly requiring phase two remediation. She said that the developer will conduct soil borings “relatively soon to determine where the foundations go.”

Bell was before the village board on Tuesday because the project needs to be reviewed by the village’s Planning Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals for variances at three of the four sites.

“While all four sites are currently zoned R-5 and would support the three-unit buildings proposed, three of the sites (1902, 2024 and 2032 S. 5th) will require zoning relief for a reduction of one parking spot, as well as some minor yard and driveway variances,” Koonce wrote.

The village board unanimously voted to move the proposal to the planning and zoning commission, which will hold a hearing on Feb. 27, 7 p.m., at Village Council Chambers, 125 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood.

All of the suburbs IFF is targeting for this type of development are members of the West Cook County Housing Collaborative, which works to expand affordable housing options in the west suburbs. 

Bell did not specify total project costs, but said that IFF is in the process of finalizing financing for the project, which is called Access West Cook. She said that IFF has already secured low-income housing tax credits for the project, which “really shows that its been vetted in terms of services, financial efficiency and high-quality construction.” VFP

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One thought on “Developer Eyes Vacant Lots In Maywood, Bellwood To Build Housing For Disabled

  1. Whatever they are proposing I hope its more attractive that what got put up in Melrose Park just south of Lake, on several streets; they claimed it was for veterans, but was really targeted at low to moderate income. The multi units they just put up there are quite bland and out of context to the rest of the neighboring properties.
    I also wish some development, almost any new development, could come to Maywood that wasn’t geared around low income or non profit……we have so many positives in the community but that iss all that seems to want to develop anything here.

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