Chicago Affordable Property Gets $58M From CIBC

In a first, this community for blind and visually impaired residents will receive LIHTC financing.

The Foglia Residences at The Chicago Lighthouse. Image courtesy of The Chicago Lighthouse.

CIBC is providing $27.9 million in construction financing and a $30.2 million equity investment for development of The Foglia Residences at The Chicago Lighthouse, a nine-story, 76-unit affordable housing community for blind or visually impaired residents and military veterans on Chicago’s West Side.

The construction financing is coming from CIBC’s Community Development team.

The Chicago Lighthouse, a Chicago nonprofit that serves blind, visually impaired, disabled and veteran communities, is developing the property in partnership with Brinshore Development LLC, a national real estate company specializing in mixed-income residential developments. Other companies on the development team include Landon Bone Baker Architects and McShane Construction, which is serving as the project contractor. Construction is underway and the development is slated for completion by May 2024.

Financing to support The Foglia Residences was approved by the Chicago City Council in February. Located in the Illinois Medical District, The Foglia Residences is the first U.S. project specifically targeting households experiencing blindness or visual impairment to be financed by low-income housing tax credits. Situated at the corner of Wood Street and Roosevelt Road, the property will be an income-qualifying development offering studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments. The project will provide affordable permanent supportive housing for families at 80 percent, 60 percent and 30 percent of area median income levels. One-third of the units will be reserved for those with income at or below 30 percent AMI.

Project details

The property is located next to The Chicago Lighthouse main campus. Dr. Janet Szlyk, president & CEO of The Chicago Lighthouse, said in prepared remarks finding safe, affordable, accessible housing for blind or visually impaired people can be challenging. The Foglia Residences will be fully accessible for people with visual impairments and include features and designs to help them live independently. Some of those features include high-contrast wall tiles, varied floor textures to indicate room transitions, built-in voice controls and Braille signage. Units will also be equipped with a doorbell and strobe one-way communication speaker, hard-wired audio and visual alarms in each bedroom, bathroom and living spaces and low-frequency sounders in each bedroom.

There will be 18 studios that are approximately 610 square feet; 40 one-bedroom apartments that are about 651 square feet and 18 two-bedroom units that are approximately 992 square feet. Units have one full bathroom, and two-bedroom residences have in-unit washers and dryers. Each floor will also have laundry rooms with washers and dryers for residents’ use.

The building will also have a roof deck, a community room, a fitness center, residential parking and 1,500 square feet of ground-level retail. A management office will be located on-site. Public transit is nearby including several bus routes and the Polk Street Pink Line “L” station.

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