Pullman Community Celebrates the Grand Opening of First Newly Built Residential Development in More than 60 Years
“Historic Preservation, Affordable Housing, and Promotion of the Arts all “under one roof”
Chicago, IL- (May 20, 2021) – Elected officials joined supporters and the new residents of Pullman Artspace Lofts to celebrate the grand opening today of the first new multifamily housing to be built in the historic community in more than 60 years. Designed to affordably accommodate a wide range of families and the community’s burgeoning artist population, the innovative development combines historic preservation, promotion of the arts, and affordable housing.
Pullman Artspace Lofts was uniquely created through the extensive restoration and adaptive reuse of two-long abandoned buildings on the National List of Historic Places, once threatened to be demolished that were built in the 1880s, and joined together by one newly constructed, compatibly designed 32,000 square foot building on land that had been empty for nearly a century. The innovative $18 million project in the North Pullman Historic District features 38 work/live rental apartments and is perhaps the only new housing opportunity in Chicago where 100% of its apartments are for residents 60% of Average Median Income or below.
“I want to thank all of our community partners and local leaders, but especially the residents of Pullman and the artists for their valuable feedback and input that brought us here today,” said Ciere Boatright, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI), Vice President, Real Estate and Inclusion. “Thanks to their collaborative effort and commitment to building a strong, sustainable community, Pullman is a new destination, a place to visit, to live and to work, and one that is using its history to build a better, brighter, future,” added Ms. Boatright.
Thursday’s afternoon celebration marked the arrival of its residents consisting of multi-media artists, painters, photographers, and musicians as well as a new cultural amenity featuring the first exhibit of the talents of the Pullman Artspace Lofts’ residents, including an outdoor guitar and dance performance. The grand opening also marked the latest milestone in the revival of affordable housing and the resurgence of Pullman that is a model for community renewal.
Pullman Artspace Lofts was conceived by the PullmanArts organization. It is the product of more than ten years of an extensive and collaborative community partnership among residents and its three nonprofit developers, Artspace, CNI, and PullmanArts. They worked together to obtain all the necessary approvals, and financing from: U.S. Bank; National Park Service; Historic Tax Credits; Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Illinois Housing Development Authority; participation from the Chicago Housing Authority, ensuring long-term affordability; 9th Ward Alderman Anthony A. Beale and city approvals; Landmarks IL and Preservation Chicago; and more.
Pullman Artspace Lofts at 11137-49 South Langley Avenue is seamlessly integrated in the North Pullman Historic District’s Romanesque architecture. All buildings are three stories, clad in masonry with mansard roofs and dormers. The restoration included the installation of new interior stair walls, replacement of wood flooring, restoration of cement work, and new porches, fire escapes, windows and doors that garnered approvals from every government level.
The new building is contemporary in its amenities but designed to fully complement the two end buildings in scale, character, and material composition. It flows with the neighborhood with the principal façade modeled on the nearby detached homes.
The complex features studios and one-bedroom apartments and a two-bedroom residence, including six apartments for Chicago Housing Authority residents, and a 2,000 square foot community space for art fairs and public exhibits.
The mission of PullmanArts is to protect, preserve and promote Pullman as a unique, major arts hub. Historically, the original company town of Pullman was built to be an exceptionally beautiful place that would attract and retain the best artisans and craftsmen to build luxurious Pullman Palace Cars. Today, the City, State and National Historic Landmark District of Pullman continues to entice and inspire a diversity of artists, whose creativity immeasurably enriches the community. Additional information is available at www.pullmanarts.org.
About Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI)
Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives is a nonprofit, community and economic development organization working collaboratively in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods and improving the quality of life for its residents. Since its inception in 2010, CNI has generated and leveraged more than $1 billion In Investments, including more than $370 million in Pullman for new residential, commercial, and industrial developments, creating nearly 1,500 new jobs. Additional information is available at www.cnigroup.org
Artspace is a nonprofit organization that uses the tools of real estate development to create affordable, appropriate places where artists can live and work. Artspace consistently develops projects that support more stable, healthy communities anchored in existing assets. Because Artspace owns each of the projects it develops, Artspace ensures that they remain affordable and accessible to artists in perpetuity. Over the last four decades, Artspace has led an accelerating national movement of artist-led community transformation. While embracing the value the arts bring to individual lives, Artspace has championed the once- radical idea that artists living with financial hardship and chronically underfunded arts organizations can leverage fundamental social change. With headquarters in Minneapolis and offices in New York, Seattle, and Washington D.C., Artspace is America’s leading developer of arts facilities and has served as a consultant to hundreds of communities and arts organizations nationwide. Additional information is available at www.artspace.org