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CHICAGO-A 21-unit condominium building is expected to be completed next May at 5978 N. Lincoln Ave., with tax increment financing paying about 15% of the $7.1-million cost of the project. Financial help is needed to redevelop a vacant restaurant because of the poor condition of the soil, according to Colleen Stone of the department of planning and development’s finance division, which requires 37 caissons to support the six-story building.

“The project acts as a catalyst for further development,” Stone says. “It develops a difficult site.” The tax increment financing proposal was recently endorsed by the community development commission.

The developer, California-based JJJ Properties, Inc., also is working with a smaller lot because of the widening of Lincoln Avenue, Stone explains. In addition, JJJ Properties is setting aside four ground-floor units for buyers qualifying under the city’s affordable housing initiative, and has agreed to add a landscaped “green roof” to the top of the building. As it is, the developer can expect a 3.9% rate of return on the project with $1.1 million in tax increment financing, Stone says.

JJJ Properties acquired the 1,500-sf restaurant and 10,000-sf site near Peterson Avenue in 2002 for $598,000, financing the acquisition with a $420,000 mortgage from Charter One Bank, according to property records. Despite being based in Southern California, JJJ Properties’ portfolio includes a commercial building at Elm and Chestnuts streets in the North Shore suburb of Winnetka, which it developed in 1981.

One-, two- and three-bedroom units will be priced from $219,000 to $314,900, although the affordable units will be offered at $156,000.

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