Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined local alderman David Moore, city officials, and local stakeholders to break ground on the Auburn Gresham Apartments. Addressed at 757 W. 79th and 838 W. 79th, the two-building plan is the first of more than 10 major projects that are moving forward as a result of the city’s Invest South/West initiative. Planned by Imagine Group and Evergreen Real Estate Group, the project was selected as the winner of the RFP for the vacant city-owned land back in March 2021. 

"I am thrilled to begin construction on Auburn Gresham Apartments and many other transformative projects on our South and West Sides," said Mayor Lightfoot. "This transit-oriented development will not only bring affordable housing and dining options to the neighborhood but will revitalize this corridor for all South Side residents to enjoy. I look forward to making continued, unprecedented investments in our targeted neighborhoods in partnership with our communities to realize their visions for their homes." 

757 W. 79thRoss Barney Architects and Nia Architects

With Nia Architects and Ross Barney Architects collaborating on the design, the scheme won the RFP as a single-building project but has evolved into a two-building plan as a result of meetings with local community members and stakeholders. 

Located at 838 W. 79th, the first building will stand three floors with a mix of commercial and residential space. On the ground floor, the project will front W. 79th St with 5,200 square feet of commercial space planned to be occupied by West African food purveyor AYO Foods. On the upper floors, 28 apartments will be split between one-beds, two-beds, and three-bedroom configurations. 28 parking spots will be included. 

838 W. 79thRoss Barney Architects and Nia Architects

The second building, located at 757 W. 79th, will stand five floors, while also holding a mix of retail and residential space. The ground floor will face W. 79th St with 3,300 square feet of commercial space that will be occupied by KLEO Community Center and The Park Supper Club. The upper four floors will hold 30 apartments, ranging from one-beds to three-beds. This building will host only 14 parking spaces.

With all of the apartments in both buildings designated as affordable, monthly rental rates are expected to range from approximately $925 to $1,250 per month. 

838 W. 79thRoss Barney Architects and Nia Architects

The $43 million project is almost entirely city funded, with the project receiving $18 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF), $18 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits equity, a $2.5 million HOME loan, and a land write-down of approximately $180,000.

Though permits have not been issued, work is likely to begin soon. Work is expected to last 18 months. Through the remainder of 2022, additional INVEST South/West RFP projects are expected to break ground in Englewood, Austin, Humboldt Park and North Lawndale.