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CHICAGO-A 384-unit townhouse, condominium and loft development on the Near North Side, which is providing 53 units of replacement housing for residents being displaced by the razing of the Cabrini-Green public housing project, is getting an $8-million subsidy from the city. The community development commission Tuesday recommended the assistance to entities controlled by the Enterprise Cos., which is building the $119-million project between Larabee Street and the Chicago River, and Chicago Avenue and Division Street.

The tax increment financing boost closes the gap on the price between the 53 replacement units as well as 39 units earmarked to buyers qualifying under the city’s affordable housing initiative, explains Steve Patterson of the department of planning and development’s finance division. The subsidy averages $86,000 per unit.

The River Village project includes lofts in what was once a Montgomery Ward catalog house. About 75% of the units have been sold, says Ron Skipka Jr. of Enterprise Cos.

“We have been at work on this project for about two years,” Shipka says. “It’s a wonderful mix of CHA replacement housing, affordable housing and market-rate housing …. We expect to continue to develop this project through the end of 2005.”

The River Village project includes 184 townhouses, 51 units in three-flats, 85 condominiums and 64 lofts. In addition to the units being subsidized, 292 are being sold at market rates.

The project now generates $324,000 a year in property taxes, Patterson says, but that is expected to increase sixfold to more than $2 million in 2007. The tax increment financing will be done in a series of four developer notes, with interest tied to 10-year Treasury rates but not to exceed 9%. “It’s a very good deal structure,” says John Markowski, commissioner of the city’s housing department.

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