Chicago streamlining approval of housing and commercial development

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

An executive order aimed at streamlining city approvals for housing and commercial development was signed by Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson this week, requiring 14 city departments to evaluate existing processes and propose solutions to remove bottlenecks and accelerate review and approval timelines.

“My administration recognizes that some of the City’s current processes are overly cumbersome and counterproductive for commercial and housing development, which actually impedes the progress that Chicago residents and businesses deserve,” Jonhson said in a statement. “We need more affordable housing, we need more small businesses, we need more economic activity, and we need good-paying union jobs to revitalize our city.

“This executive order is an important step in streamlining the process so we are collectively moving forward in the same direction.”

Johnson announced the executive order at the groundbreaking of Grace Manor Apartments, a $40 million project that is 100 percent affordable in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood.

See Databid.com report about the Grace Manor project here

The building was developed by East Lake Management Corporation in partnership with Grace at Jerusalem Community Development Corporation.

The executive order will:

  • Require relevant departments to submit a report within 90 days to deputy mayor of business and neighborhood development with proposed changes to streamline processes and incentivize commercial and housing development.
  • Establish a director of process improvement to manage implementation across departments and sister agencies.

The Grace Manor Apartments project received support from the Chicago Housing Authority and the City’s Department of Housing (DOH) which provided up to $20 million in Multi-Family Housing Revenue Bonds, $5.5 million in TIF funding, a negotiated sale of seven City-owned parcels, and up to $9.2 million in Multi-Family Loan Funds to finance the construction of Grace Manor apartments. This Executive Order will ensure that more developers of equity-driven projects like Grace Manor are supported via an efficient review and approval process.

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