Construction has begun on a mixed-use project in North Lawndale that replaces the Chicago Housing Authority’s Ogden Courts and Lawndale Complex public housing projects.
Ogden Courts was two buildings with about 140 homes. It closed in 2005. The Lawndale Complex was 187 homes in six buildings. It came down at the turn of the century.
They are being replaced by a new mixed-use project designed by SCB called Ogden Commons. It will ultimately have 332 new homes that are both market-rate, and affordable in a ten-acre complex.
But all that new housing is a few years off. What is happening now is phase one, which consists of a three-story, 50,000 square foot commercial building. The ground floor will have two restaurants and a bank. Upstairs will be outpatient services from nearby Mount Sinai Hospital, and incubator and office space for Cinespace Chicago Film Studios.
Cinespace and Sinai are working with the Chicago Housing Authority and The Habitat Company on this building. You may know Habitat from such downtown skyscrapers as Kingsbury Plaza and Hubbard Place. You might not know that while other Chicago developers do everything they can to keep the city’s less fortunate as far away as they can, Habitat actively pursues mixed-use and low-income housing projects that other developers swear simply cannot possibly in any way succeed, now please pass the Grey Poupon.