Naperville’s Human Rights and Fair Housing Commission held a community forum on March 6 centered on the development of an affordable housing facility for seniors and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Two companies presented their proposals for housing plans on land near the intersection of Route 59 and 103rd Street, earmarked by Naperville City Council for the project.
How Did We Get Here?
“This city-owned property, looking at it for potential senior housing/ IDD housing project is in alignment with the Housing Needs Assessment and Housing Needs Report approved by the Human Rights and Fair Housing Advisory Commission and endorsed by the City Council in 2020. That 2020 report specifically recommended that we leverage city property to address community needs,” said TED Operations Manager, Amy Emory.
Firms Gorman & Company, LLC and Mercy Housing Lakefront presented their preliminary ideas for the 6.1-acre lot
The two firms were selected from a group of four developers that responded to the city’s request for a proposal in December 2021. The selection was made by The Naperville Development Partnership, the Naperville Senior Task Force, the Human Rights and Fair Housing Commission, the Accessible Community Task Force, and City Council, based off of city imposed criteria.
Both proposals were rough initial drafts of what their projects might look like. Each firm said they wanted added input from the community forum to expand their projects further. More than 60 people were in attendance, there to view proposals, voice concerns and ask questions.
Gorman and Company Proposal
Gorman and Company planned for 60 units spanning from one to three bedroom spaces in five buildings. 45 units would be available to seniors, and 15 would be available to those with IDDs. 20 percent of the total units would be outfitted for ADA access. There would be an area for residents to host family members in the summer for outdoor fun, and also indoor spaces for events and programs.
Gorman also put forth the idea of developing the 6.1-acre lot adjacent to the one in question, which would then offer an additional 60 units; for a total of 120-128 units in 10 buildings.
While that possibility exists the commission wants to maintain focus on the original 6.1 acre plot. “Right now what we’ve got on the table is the one lot. So, I think what we’re going to do is we’re going to move forward with developing that lot, and then see what happens down the road,” said Commissioner Mark Rice.
Part of Gorman & Company’s proposal is a partnership with Ray Graham Association to ensure programs and needs for individuals with IDDs are met.
Mercy Housing Lakefront Proposal
Mercy Housing Lakefront’s proposal offered choices in the final build decision. Their focused rendering showed a main building with two wings, all of which were 3-stories. They did not specify if multiple bedroom units would be available, but said 97 units would be created.
Amenities would include biking and walking paths, healing and sensory gardens as well as grilling and picnic areas. The main building would offer space to host programs and events.
To meet the needs of prospective tenants, Mercy would use its ties to the Association for Individual Development as well as Catholic Charities connected to the Diocese of Joliet.
The proposals and community forum marked the completion of phase two of what will be a six-phase plan. The next phase includes discussion of key business terms with both firms to frame building dimensions, important definitions and timetables to maintain affordability.
Selection of which will continue as the developer of this project is phase four. That decision will be made by City Council between May and June of this year.
“This is Naperville. We want to do it. We want to be the best. We want to lead the country in affordable housing. We want make sure our citizens of all demographics are all taken care of. This is the first, but it’s not going to be the last.” Rice added.
For Naperville News 17, Ryan Sartori reports.
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