Seniors and Affordable Green Multifamily Projects under Way in Chicago

Chicago--Ground has been broken for the New Admiral at the Lake, a 31-story life-care/continuing-care retirement community on the North Side of Chicago.

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Breaking ground at the New Admiral at the Lake.

Chicago–Ground has been broken for the New Admiral at the Lake, a 31-story life-care/continuing-care retirement community (CCRC) on the North Side of Chicago. The development is being built on the site of a former retirement community that had occupied a vintage-1920 apartment building for the last 50 years, with completion slated for 2012.

The CCRC is a collaboration of the Admiral, a not-for-profit organization established in 1858, and Kendal, also a not-for-profit, which is investing in Chicago for the first time with this project. Established in 1971, Kendal, headquartered in Kennett Square, Pa., near Philadelphia, now operates 10 retirement communities and provides other services for older adults in six other states. The developer of the project is Irving, Texas-based Greystone Communities Inc., which has provided development services for over 60 communities nationwide since 1982.

New Admiral at the Lake, which has depositors committed for more than 80 percent of the 200 independent living apartments, and with $202 million bond financing completed, will offer one- to three-bedroom units. It will also include 39 assisted living residences, 17 memory-support units and 36 private skilled nursing homes.

The demand for seniors multifamily housing may be strong, but it isn’t the only multifamily game in town in Chicago; there’s also financing for, and strong demand for, affordable multifamily as well. This week, in a project unrelated to New Admiral at the Lake but also in Chicago, the Brinshore Development L.L.C, Michaels Development Co. and Sinai Community Institute development alliance awarded the construction contract for a multifamily development called Park Douglas. When completed, the property will offer 137 rental units in 18 three-story buildings on the West Side of the city.

Park Douglas will be a mix of market rate, affordable and subsidized apartments, using financing from a variety of sources, including $10 million in stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The property will also have green components: It is registered with the Chicago Green Homes program, a city-operated permitting system to foster sustainable building practices. All of the buildings will be Energy Star certified, and the property’s management office will be LEED registered.

“Sustainable construction techniques and materials can provide significant operational cost savings for affordable housing developments,” Jeffrey A. Raday, president of Rosemont, Ill.-based McShane Construction Co., which won the contract to built Park Douglas, tells MHN. “The costs associated with sustainable or LEED-friendly design and material selections are supported by numerous current government initiatives, making it more attractive for owners to incorporate green features into their projects. Costs to implement sustainable features have also become more transparent, allowing for lower upfront and long-term expenditures for both owners and tenants.”

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