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CHICAGO-The 2600 block of W. North Avenue will get 100 affordable and market-rate multifamily units under a $27-million proposal by Hispanic Housing Development Corp. Although the non-profit company must return to the community development commission for tax increment financing assistance, a plan to sell a four-story building at 2658 W. North Ave. and two smaller buildings at 2634 W. North Ave. has won a favorable recommendation.

Hispanic Housing Development Corp. has agreed to pay the city’s costs of acquiring the two remaining properties it needs to build a five-story building with 60 units for residents who qualify under the city’s affordable housing initiative and 40 market-rate units. Hispanic Housing Development Corp. already has acquired four other sites, or 75% of the land it needs to assemble.

The project includes new construction as well as redeveloping two buildings totaling 72,000 sf into lofts and new housing units. Hispanic Housing Development Corp. already has spent $2.3 million, according to property records, to gain control of nearly one acre.

“It’s an important project because it addresses a site that is classically a slum and blighted,” says Paul Roldan, president of Hispanic Housing Development Corp. The larger warehouse building “is a hotel occupied by pigeons,” he adds.

While Hispanic Housing Development Corp. has been working to assemble the land for two years, it has been stymied in attempts to acquire the remaining two sites, which total 9,900 sf, according to property records. “We have had appraisals done,” Roldan says. “We have not been able to bring them to the table.”

The department of planning and development will be able to use the threat of condemnation to acquire the properties, which are in the Humboldt Park Commercial Redevelopment Project Area. Some properties on the block have been vacant since the 1970s, according to city officials.

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