Related Midwest closes financing for Poplar Place development

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

Related Midwest has closed financing on a $44.8 million redevelopment of the Poplar Place affordable housing community.

Working with development partner Capital City Coalition, an affiliated non-profit of the Springfield Housing Authority, Related Midwest says construction will begin this month on a full rehabilitation and de-densification of the complex.

Originally built in 1950, Poplar Place covers 23 acres.

“Poplar Place will be a vibrant affordable housing community that will have modern finishes and a new site plan that will include a community center and playground,” said Don Biernacki, executive vice president of construction at Related Midwest.

The redevelopment will preserve and modernize 100 affordable housing apartments and the site will be reconfigured to reduce density and increase green and open space. The plan will create a main entrance on Old Rochester Road and relocate the management office to the center of the site for enhanced accessibility and security.

Additional amenities will include a Great Lawn area with 2.5 acres of park land, a community center and a playground. Officials say the project be transformative for the East Side of Springfield, and the greater Springfield community.

“There are different types of projects that can change the trajectory of a community and the renovation of Poplar Place will be one of those projects for Springfield,” said Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder. “The city, together with our partners, worked diligently for years to ensure the right pieces were in place in order for this redevelopment to happen.

As one of the largest owners and operators of affordable housing in the Midwest, Related Midwest has never converted an affordable unit to market rate. The rehabilitation, designed by Evan Lloyd Architects and constructed by Related Midwest includes modernizing interior finishes; replacing kitchens and bathrooms; and installing energy-efficient appliances, new lighting and new heating systems.

The public-private partnership will use federal, state, and local resources to transform and revitalize housing built just after World War II.

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