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CHICAGO-Los Angeles-based Alliance Property Group Inc. has chosen the North Kenwood-Oakland community as the site of its first project here, which ultimately could be worth nearly $40 million. The affordable multifamily developer is buying a former bank and office building on the northwest corner of East 47th Street and South Drexel Boulevard, with plans of replacing it with a 110-unit condominium building with four townhouses on the 1.2-acre site.

The one-, two- and three-bedroom units will range from the low $200,000 neighborhood to the $400,000 level, and average about $350,000, Alliance Property Group president Danielle M. Taef tells GlobeSt.com. However, Alliance Property Group is setting aside 15% of the units to buyers qualifying under the city’s affordable housing initiative. Her company hopes to start marketing units early next year, with completion scheduled in the late summer of 2007. “We believe Chicago represents a viable market and development opportunity,” Taef adds.

At seven stories, the new building will fit into the neighborhood, matching the height of the historic Sutherland Hotel, a single-room-occupancy property, across 47th Street, according to Carmen Vidal-Hallett of the department of planning and development. It will replace a 39-year-old building formerly used by Shore Bank for a branch operation, as well as office space for 4th Ward Alderman Toni Preckwinkle. Shore Bank has relocated its branch office a half-mile east to the renovated Old Drexel Bank building at 47th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue, while Preckwinkle is happy to relocate in favor of a primarily market-rate development with affordable housing units.

The project is 36% less than what could be allowed under the proposed B2-5 zoning for the property. However, it also required a recent plan commission recommendation because it was more than 60 units.

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