The building was designed by D.H. Burnham & Co. in 1927 andis a national historic landmark. The YMCA vacated the building 20years ago and, after which, "it was used for a while as a transienthotel," says Robert Gawronski, Senior Lifestyle's VP of developmentand acquisition.


The new development has 74 one-bedroom units and 16 studios,with a total of 84 of the units being deemed affordable housing forseniors earning at or below 60% of the area median income. Theunits range in size from 475 sf to about 1,000 sf, with an averagesize of more than 600 sf, Gawronski says. Rental rates range from$396 to $810, which include utilities, housekeeping, free laundryfacilities, parking and scheduled transportation, such as weeklytrips to the grocery store, he says. The development also has morethan 5,500 sf of common area, including a lounge, library and afitness area. The development is more than 50% leased, he says.


The project cost more than if the developer had torn down andstarted fresh, but the project is eligible for historicpreservation and low-income housing tax credits, Gawronski says.The developer acquired the property for slightly more than $1million, as previously reported by This project is thefirst Senior Suites location that the company has completed outsideof the city of Chicago, and is the first redevelopment of anexisting building, Gawronski says.


The company had been searching for a location in the suburbs forawhile and the location in Joliet was one that would help qualifyfor the low-income housing tax credits, he says. The firm which wasfounded in 1985, has developed 17 senior communities in Chicago andhas a total of 60 properties in its portfolio.

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