Affordable Senior Housing Breaks Ground in Illinois

The 60-unit Residences of Crystal Lake is slated for completion by March 2020.
Residences at Crystal Lake. Rendering courtesy of Skender

Construction has begun on Residences of Crystal Lake with 60 units of affordable housing for seniors in Crystal Lake, Ill. The three-story, 63,000-square-foot building will include five ADA-accessible units, 12 adaptable units and two sensory units and is the largest residential project in Crystal Lake in many years.

The facility at 355 Station Drive is owned by Turnstone Development, a nonprofit corporation with offices in Chicago and Fort Lauderdale. The nonprofit has developed more than 1,680 affordable housing units for families and seniors in Illinois and Florida since 1998.

Chicago-based Skender is serving as base building and interior construction manager for the project. The firm is working in collaboration with Chicago-based design firm UrbanWorks, civil engineering firm GroundWork Ltd. and the owner’s representative, DKI, Inc., to complete the design-build project by March 2020.

Located on 7.5 acres in the McHenry County city of Crystal Lake, the facility will feature about five acres of landscaped open space including walking paths, a trellis, gazebo and patio. It will have parking for 61 vehicles. Amenities include a fitness center, theater room and community room. There will be a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments, each with individual kitchens. Residents will have easy access to medical offices, shops and restaurants in the nearby city business center.

In May 2018, Residences of Crystal Lake was among the 26 affordable housing developments in the state to receive federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) awarded through the Illinois Housing Development Authority Board of Directors. The HDA board awarded more than $26.4 million in federal tax credits at that time. Information on the amount granted to the Crystal Lake project was not available.

LIHTC news

In March, Freddie Mac, which entered the LIHTC market in late 2018, closed its fifth LIHTC fund and its first with Chicago-based nonprofit National Equity Fund (NEF). The first three investments, totaling $6.1 million, will help create housing for displaced and homeless individuals and families in Houston and Los Angles. NEF was chosen by Freddie Mac for the proprietary fund because of its deep expertise with LIHTC and its commitment to communities in need.

Senior Housing Needed

The Crystal Lake project will help seniors in McHenry County but data from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) recently showed the demand for senior housing outpaces new supply. The first quarters saw net absorption of 2,934 units across 31 markets, slightly outstripping growth by 294 units, according to NIC. The last time demand for senior housing exceeded new supply was late 2015. Absorption is being driven by a growing economy and a wave of seniors born after the Great Depression-dip in birthrates who are now in their early 80s.