Evergreen Tops Out Chicago-Area Senior Housing

Reserved for residents 62 and older, the project is on track for an August opening.

Rendering of Bellwood Senior Apartments. Image courtesy of Evergreen Real Estate Group

Evergreen Real Estate Group has topped off Bellwood Senior Apartments, a $30 million, four-story affordable senior housing community in the Chicago suburbs.

Located at 542 25th Ave. in Bellwood, Ill., the 80-unit community is expected to open in August with apartments available for prelease.

The project’s contractor, F.H. Paschen is conducting the installation of the building’s mechanical, electrical plumbing and fire protection fixtures, with the final phase of construction, the completion of drywall, window and façade placements to take place after.

A collaborative effort

Bellwood Senior apartments broke ground in August of 2022, at the site of a former Walgreens pharmacy. The community is being architecturally designed by Weese Langley Weese Architects Ltd., and includes gray and black brick masonry enclosed by metal panel screens. At full build-out, the community will span 72,228-square feet of residential space, sectioned off into one- and two-bedroom living arrangements. Evergreen will use its in-house property management services to oversee the community’s operations.

David Block, director of development for Evergreen explained the design choices further to Multi-Housing News. “As with other recent projects we have developed in the Chicago area, we have used a bold design statement for Bellwood Senior Apartments both to elevate the image of what affordable senior housing can be and also to create a striking statement about the future of the Village of Bellwood that can be a source of pride for residents and neighbors for years to come.”

Topping-off of Bellwood Senior Apartments. Image courtesy of Evergreen Real Estate Group

All units will be designated for the city’s 62-and-older population with incomes at or below 60 percent the area’s median. Apartments will feature full kitchens, vinyl plank flooring, treated windows, intercom entry systems and centralized HVAC systems, with several one-bedroom apartments offering accessible specifications. Across the community, residents will have access to multiple community rooms, as well as a fitness center and on-site laundry services. Situated at the intersection of 25th Ave. and Washington Boulevard, the community is flanked by several retail and dining options, and is within a mile of central Bellwood’s main commercial corridor. Access to local public transportation nodes, as well as an on-ramp to Interstate 290 are one mile away, giving the community access to much of metro Chicago. The city center is 12 miles away.

READ ALSO: American House CEO’s Upbeat Take on Senior Housing in the Midwest

Development and construction of the community was funded with Low Income Housing Tax Credits issued by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, alongside Tax Increment Financing provided by the village of Bellwood. Bank of America was an investor and construction loan lender, while Hudson Housing Capital connected the tax creditors. The Cook County municipal government provided additional HOME funds, sourced from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Addressing short supply in Chicago

Bellwood Senior Apartments’ status as both an affordable community and one designated for seniors helps to address dual asset shortages across the Windy City. According to data from a January 2023 Yardi Matrix report, the city’s development pipeline has slowed considerably, with only 3.5 percent of the city’s 16,174 units under construction designated as affordable. The shortage, particularly where senior housing is concerned, takes place as the baby boomer generation enters the market in increasing numbers and the sector recovers from crippling pandemic-era losses.

A recent headline in Chicago’s market is the Preservation Equity Fund Advisors’ purchase of Freedom Village, a 198-unit, age-restricted affordable community in the town of Homewood.

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