|News from NHC's family of members|
by Radiah Shabazz, National Housing Conference
The NHP Foundation, an NHC member, recently acquired the Mark Twain Hotel in Chicago in partnership with Pembrook Capital Management LLC, The Chicago Community Loan Fund, Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital, US Bank and the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development. The Foundation will preserve and maintain the property as affordable apartments under the city’s new single-room occupancy preservation ordinance.
The building includes 152 single-occupancy units and over 9,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. The NHP Foundation expects to begin the development phase of the project in 2017 and plans include upgraded kitchens and the addition of community space. The property will be listed in the National Register’s Proposed Residential Hotels in Chicago, 1900–1930 group designation, which recognizes the accommodation from this era as historically significant.
“Since 1932, the Mark Twain Hotel has been a landmark of the Gold Coast neighborhood. The acquisition and future renovation of the property by the NHP Foundation is an incredibly exciting project for all parties involved,” Richard Burns, president and CEO of the NHP Foundation, said in a statement. “We are proud to be a part of Chicago’s efforts to preserve its affordable housing, and we are delighted with the opportunity to significantly improve the property while providing a better quality of life for the residents.”
Twenty-five percent of renters in Chicago face severe housing cost burden, compared to just 15 percent of renter households, according to “Housing Landscape 2016,” NHC’s annual report on the affordability challenges in metro areas across the nation, The city’s single-room occupancy preservation ordinance (SRO) will help to ensure that more low- to moderate-income families have access to decent, affordable housing in the city.
The acquisition of the Mark Twain Hotel is the largest deal so far under the new SRO funding program for affordable developments .