Independence Branch Now Open
The wait is over! On Tuesday, the new Independence Branch library, 4024 N. Elston, officially opened its doors to the public!
The former location was housed in a storefront, and for years neighbors and users advocated for a new library to serve the high demand of the community. After the location closed in 2015 due to smoke damage from an adjacent fire, the urgency to find a new home grew.
In October 2016, Chicago Housing Authority partnered with Chicago Public Library to provide the community with a new library that fits the needs of the 21st century. The unique collaboration also ushered in 44 new units of affordable housing for seniors.
The modern design of the building, by architect John Ronan, flood the library with natural light. The attention to detail on the exterior and interior creates an absolutely breathtaking gem and public asset. John Ronan was selected after winning a city design competition. He was the only Chicago finalist for the Obama Library.
The timing of the grand opening is perfect as the Jefferson Park Branch is closed as of Saturday for a complete renovation. I hope in the interim residents will pay the new Independence Branch a visit.
Apply Now to Live in Independence Apartments, Affordable Senior Housing
Independence Apartments, 4022 N. Elston, just above the new Independence Library, will open in early 2019. Independence Apartments is a 100% affordable senior building. Applicants must be age 62 or over and have incomes below 60% of the Area Median Income. To qualify, income would be approximately $35,500/annually or less for one person or $40,60 or less for two people, but these are ballpark estimates subject to change.
Units will be available with rents starting at $850 for 1-bedroom units and $1,000 for 2-bedroom units and will be leased directly through Evergreen Real Estate Group. Additional units will be available with rental assistance from the Chicago Housing Authority. The leasing process for those units will be administered via the Chicago Housing Authority through their website.
Evergreen will begin accepting applications online at starting Jan. 3. Applications will be processed on a first come-first served basis.
In the mean time, individuals interested in receiving Chicago Housing Authority rental assistance for this building can apply via the CHA website by clicking “Apply for Housing—Public Housing & PBV Applicants Only!” This screen will default to public housing. Choose PBV to find the correct list of properties. Choose Independence Apartments/Northtown Apartments. Depending on your income, CHA could subsidize a substantial portion of the rent, so it’s worth applying.
Please contact Evergreen Real Estate Group at (312) 382-3251 orvia email with any questions.
Independence Branch Library Passes Plan Commission
I am pleased to announce that the new Independence Branch Library passed the Plan Commission on Thursday, July 20.
The building is a unique collaboration between the Chicago Housing Authority and the Chicago Public Library, with the library on the first two floors and four floors of affordable senior housing above. The new location at 4024 N. Elston is designed by John Ronan Architects, a finalist in the competition to build the Obama Presidential Library.
For decades, neighbors and library users have lobbied for a new library. After the library’s former location closed in 2015 due to smoke damage from an adjacent fire, momentum grew for a new and improved facility. In October, it was announced that the library would have a permanent home where the former Hollerbach Funeral Home was located.
The proposal will go before the Zoning Committee in August, and the library is expected to open before Christmas 2018. I want to thank the Friends of Independence Library, West Walker Civic Association, Greater Independence Park Neighborhood Association, Old Irving Park Association, Rep. Jaime Andrade, the Mayor’s office, Ald. Marge Laurino, Ald. Deb Mell, Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, and all the residents and neighborhood groups who advocated to make this happen.
Together, we will get this done.