How a New Mixed-Income Chicago Apartment Supports the Arts

How The Community Builders's new community is expected to engage local artists.
Will Woodley, director of development, The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB); Kimbra Worthy, Metroplex, Inc.; Terri Hamilton  Brown, vice president of development; Alderman Will Burns,  4th

Will Woodley, director of development, The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB); Kimbra Worthy, Metroplex, Inc.; Terri Hamilton Brown, vice president of development; Alderman Will Burns, 4th

By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Editor

Chicago—Cornerstone Apartments, a new mixed-income housing development in Chicago’s historic South Side Bronzeville neighborhood, has opened to renters. The unveiling was part of a grand opening ceremony attended by Fourth Ward Alderman William D. Burns and other community members.

The 59-unit building from The Community Builders (TCB) is located near Washington Park and the Shops and Lofts at 47 mixed-use developments in Bronzeville. It features 14 new mixed-income apartments set aside for working artists in the community, which has a history of producing art and culture. Also included are 45 affordable apartments renovated for neighborhood families.

TCB purchased and rehabbed two older rental properties for those area families. Unit kitchens, bathrooms, energy efficiency and appearance were improved, and the affordability of these apartments was preserved for the long term.

In addition, Cornerstone Apartments has added space for music, dance and collaboration. These spaces will support Cornerstone residents who are working artists, and are expected to engage other local artists as well.

“We are committed to preserving and providing quality mixed-income housing for Chicago families,” said Terri Hamilton Brown, TCB Midwest regional vice president. “We are equally committed to developments that support the goals of the greater communities. This could be a neighborhood grocery store or apartments designed and managed to support arts and culture in the community.”

“Together with our partners at Cornerstone Apartments, TCB has provided a better place to live for 45 existing families, as well as new mixed-income apartments that support neighborhood revitalization.”

Among funding partners and additional supporters of the Cornerstone Apartments development were Alderman Burns; the city of Chicago; Ralph Brown, president of Technical Assistance Corporation for Housing; Redstone Equity Partners; JP Morgan Chase Bank; TCB Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2; and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Noting Bronzeville’s long legacy as a wellspring of artistic and cultural contributions, Burns said, “We can only continue that tradition if we have space that allows the people who enrich our lives to stay in our community.”

Headquartered in Boston and with regional hubs in Chicago and Washington, D.C., The Community Builders Inc. is a non-profit real estate developer and owner whose mission is to build and sustain strong communities that encourage people of varying incomes to reach their full potential.