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CHICAGO-Forced to go back to their drawing boards, developers of Constance Place at 1832 E. 87th St. are getting a land deal from the city to help build 18 condominiums with 2,200 sf of ground-floor retail space. The city will sell a 12,300-sf site, most recently appraised at $210,000, for $5,000 to help compensate for the developers setting aside three units for buyers qualifying under the affordable housing initiative.

The $4-million project, likely to be financed by Delaware Place Bank, is now five stories rather than the original three under a proposal rejected by the department of planning and development. However, the sizes and prices are now economically feasible, says project manager Daniel Klaiber.

Although Constance Place LLC was the only bidder to meet the department’s deadline in a December 2004 request for proposals, the original plans called for units of 1,000 sf or less, with prices up to $300,000. “The department has done its homework and knows what kind of prices will go here,” says 8th Ward Alderman Stroger. Three-bedroom units will range up to $295,000, but will now include 1,695 sf.

“I believe this project will be a strong shot in the arm for 87th Street,” Stroger says. “East of Cregier has not been as good as west of Cregier. I think this will help vitalize the area. It’s good to see something in my ward for people who don’t want a yard.”

Real estate broker Ken Barber, whose Herndon Investments is part of Constance Place LLC, says the developers have letters of interest from a gourmet coffee franchisee and a North Side sushi restaurant owner who wants to bring a new concept to the South Side. Although his group has been involved in smaller projects in the area, 1832 E. 87th St. is its largest endeavor to date, he adds.

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