Thursday, December 1 2022

West Chicago will soon have apartments specially designed for people with developmental disabilities or mental health needs.

A new 24-unit apartment building is under construction at 487 Main Street, immediately east of West Chicago City Hall.

The project, called Main Street Lofts, is a collaborative effort between developer Villa Park North Arrow Partners and the Association for Individual Development in Elgin.

“We should be done by the end of the year, as long as Mother Nature cooperates,” said Lore Baker, President and CEO of AID.

Baker praised West Chicago’s location because it is relatively close to the Fox River Valley, where AID provides most of its service and support.

“We have clients and the people we support who need access to affordable housing,” Baker said.

Most of the funding for the project comes from the Illinois Housing Development Authority, Baker said. She added that residents will need to prove their income eligibility to apply for one of the units.

Baker points out that the building is not a group home. It will have individual apartments to allow a more independent life.

North Arrow Partners operates as a development-design-build company dedicated to creating affordable, permanent supportive housing throughout Illinois.

According to North Arrow Partners, the Americans with Disabilities Act compliant building will feature 21 one-bedroom units, including two disabled-accessible units and one sensory unit for a deaf or hard of hearing tenant. There will be three two-bedroom units, one of which is disabled-accessible.

Other amenities will include 24-hour security, an in-building social worker office, on-site laundry and a function room.

Baker said all units are designed to be adaptable for future need for additional disability or sensory changes.

“Everything is fine there,” said West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda, praising the building’s proximity to the Metra station, grocery stores, the pharmacy and the city’s downtown core.

Pineda said Main Street Lofts will help the city meet its goal of bringing up to 400 new apartments or condominiums to its downtown area.

“I hope it will be a spark to breathe new life into our city center,” said Pineda.

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