POAH hosts ribbon cutting for new mixed-income lofts in Woodlawn

Aaron Gornstein, CEO if Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), Yolanda Wofford, owner of Teeny Tiny University that will occupy commercial ground floor space in Trianon Lofts, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Tobias Spears, future residential tenant of Trianon Lofts, and Bill Eager, POAH Chicago Area Vice President, during the ceremonial ribbon cutting marking the opening of Trianon Lofts, 803 E. 61st Street, a Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) Chicago Area market rate housing and commercial development, Tuesday, Nov. 7. – Marc Monaghan

By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
Staff Writer

Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) hosted a ribbon cutting in celebration of the grand opening of Trianon Lofts, 803 E. 61st St., on Tuesday afternoon Nov. 7. The development is the first mixed-income rental housing project to be constructed in the Woodlawn neighborhood in more than 40 years.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was in attendance at the grand opening of the new $12.5 million loft development, said the neighborhood is once again a destination where people are choosing to live and to work.

“Trianon Lofts demonstrates the City of Chicago’s commitment to building stronger, safer communities with more housing and better economic opportunities,” Emanuel said, during Tuesday’s press conference. “Today’s grand opening represents the latest step in Woodlawn’s rebirth and reflects the hard work and commitment of Preservation of Affordable Housing and our other community partners.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks with Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) CEO Aaron Gornstein and POAH Chicago Area Vice President Bill Eager as the trio tours a unit in POAH’s market rate housing and commercial development, Trianon Lofts, 803 E. 61st St., Tuesday, Nov. 7. – Marc Monaghan

The new four-story apartment building, which is named after the historic Trianon ballroom that once stood in the same location, is on the southeast corner of 61St Street and Cottage Grove Avenue. The new development is located directly across from the site of the new Jewel-Osco grocery and pharmacy store, scheduled to start construction in early 2018.

The building will feature 24 two-bedroom apartments, mixed-income housing – half the units will be rented at market rate and half will be made available to residents earning 50-80 percent of area median income, 24 outdoor parking spaces and 7,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor – the Teeny Tiny University daycare center will occupy part of that space.

The building’s amenities include stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, in-unit washer/dryer, an energy-efficient HVAC, and an elevator.

The development team for the project included POAH, Urban Works Ltd, (architects) and Joseph J. Duffy Co. (contractor).

Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks with Yolanda Wofford, future business tenant, and Tobias Spears, future residential tenant of Trianon Lofts, 803 E. 61st St., a Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) Chicago Area market rate housing and commercial development, during a press conference Tuesday, Nov. 7. – Marc Monaghan

“Thanks to the involvement and partnership of neighborhood organizations, financial and educational institutions, small businesses, and the community, Woodlawn is becoming a national model for how to transform under-resourced and underserved urban neighborhoods into new communities of choice,” said Aaron Gornstein CEO of POAH and developer of Trianon Lofts.

Ald. Willie Cochran (20th) was also acknowledged for his part in helping to establish the new development. Cochran, who collapsed during a City Council meeting on Nov. 2, did not attend the ribbon cutting because he is still recovering.

HUD’s Choice Neighborhood Initiative Grant Funds ($3.3 million), BMO Harris Bank’s Senior Loan ($3 million) and an allocation of New Markets Tax Credits ($7 million), JP Morgan Chase’s New Market Tax Credit Investment ($4 million) and Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s Predevelopment Funding financed the project.

j.phillips@hpherald.com