MIXED-USE, MIXED INCOME DEVELOPMENT SET FOR WOODLAWN

Park Station Lofts is a 58-unit development located at 6300 S. Maryland Ave. PHOTO PROVIDED BY DL3 REALTY.
Park Station Lofts is a 58-unit development located at 6300 S. Maryland Ave. PHOTO PROVIDED BY DL3 REALTY.

 MIXED-USE, MIXED INCOME DEVELOPMENT SET FOR WOODLAWN

BY TIA CAROL JONES

A new mixed-use, mixed-income development is slated for completion in Woodlawn. Park Station Lofts is a 58-unit development located at 6300 S. Maryland Ave.

The development is part of the redevelopment and revitalization strategy for Woodlawn. The project is jointly developed by DL3 Realty and Michaels, one of the leading affordable housing developers in the country.
Leon Walker, managing principal of DL3 Realty, said DL3 Realty has been very involved in the Woodlawn community. It developed the Jewel-Osco on 61st and Cottage Grove, as well as Friend Health on 63rd and Cottage Grove.

“Woodlawn is one of those communities that we have been very engaged and involved with because it’s really in the shadow, just south of the University of Chicago,” Walker said, adding it is one of the communities he focused on when he came back to the south side.

Walker believes you can do well by doing good and investing in people, something his parents, who were public school teachers, taught him. He also believes that people should take up the charge to create opportunities for economic development in their neighborhoods instead of waiting for someone else to do it.

Park Station Lofts is the first new development that will meet the Woodlawn Housing Preservation Ordinance. That ordinance, which was approved by the city council in 2020, mandates that 30% of the units in each project must be affordable at 30%-50% of Area Median Income. The development will have market-rate units and units that will be30-60% affordable by the area median income.

“So, you’re going to one luxury, affordable building that also provides for a diverse set of residents, threading the needle and meeting the needs of residents who want to see more high-quality, Class A development, but also preserving opportunities for the existing residents who are still working their way up the career ladder,” Walker said.

Amenities for the Park Station Lofts include a rooftop, on the first floor there will be retail, mixed-use projects, and live/work lofts. It will bring an option for professionals or creatives who want a place to live and work in the area, but who might not be able to afford rent for two separate spaces, to the community for the first time. The hope is that the live/work lofts in the development will help spur business development along the 63rd Street Corridor.

Park Station Lofts also will have a community room, exercise facility, a walking path and a landscaped area. Sunshine Enterprises will provide entrepreneurship services in a business center. The hope is construction will be completed by the end of the year.

“Woodlawn is going through a couple of different transformations at the same time. You have the excitement that’s’ being generated by the Obama Presidential Center, so you have homes in the northeast quadrant that are going for $700,000-plus, you have immigrants who have just arrived in Woodlawn and  you have existing residents who are finding it harder and harder to maintain their rent and cost structure that allows them to continue to stay in their community,” he said.

Walker added that by blending the various incomes and offering luxury and quality building, the project is addressing many of the needs of the existing and future residents.  It is a way forward and shows how development can revitalize a community, and it is sensitive to the needs and desires of the community.

DL3 Realty worked with 20th Ward Alderperson Jeanette B. Taylor to shape the program in the building, the mix of units and the services in the building. Taylor also got the Ordinance passed.

“Hopefully more will follow and come. That’s the idea. This is how you develop an integrative and inclusive community.  That’s what Park Station represents, quality, but inclusiveness,” Walker said.

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