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Just one company left after firm opts out of submitting affordable living development plan to Naperville – Chicago Tribune

One of the two companies vying for a shot at building affordable housing in Naperville for seniors and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities has bowed out of the running for the project.

Chicago-based Mercy Housing Lakefront notified the city last week they no longer wish to be considered for a plan to develop six acres of city-owned property at 103rd Street and Route 59, said Amy Emery, operations manager with the city’s Transportation, Engineering and Development, in a memo to the the Naperville City Council.

That leaves Gorman and Co., headquartered in Wisconsin, to continue through the process.

Since March, the city has been working with Gorman and Mercy on topics related to the project, including how to define things like affordable and senior, a time frame to maintain affordability, and expectations for parameters like number of units, building height and open space .

With Mercy out of the picture, Gorman is expected to submit a bid for the city property, propose a time frame that guarantees all units will remain affordable based on area median income limits and provide an updated design concept plan based on the agreed upon stipulations .

The information is to be provided to the Naperville City Council on July 19, when the council will decide if Gorman will proceed with the project.

The Naperville Senior Task Force has been pushing since 2014 for the city to increase its supply of affordable housing for older adults, and a group of Naperville parents appealed to the council last year for help in creating a place for their adult children with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

The council’s solution was an apartment complex in Naperville where both groups could live independently and affordably.

To prevent the apartments from becoming institutional rather than residential, a quarter of the units would be dedicated to adults with disabilities and 75% open to older adults on fixed incomes.

In March, Gorman presented a proposal before the Human Rights and Fair Housing Commission for 60 apartments — 45 for seniors and 15 for adults with IDD.

Gorman also said it would partner with the Ray Graham Association of Lisle to ensure support services are available on-site for IDD residents.

The company has a track record of developing such properties in Illinois and Colorado, which is why the Naperville parents sought them out and encouraged the company to apply when the city requested proposals last fall.

Gorman was responsible for working with the Rockford Housing Authority on the Jane Addams Park Apartments, which includes a 38-unit supportive housing facility for physically and developmentally disabled individuals.

It also collaborated with Laradon Hall Society for Exceptional Children and Adults in Denver to create The Elisabetta, a 91-unit affordable housing community of which 25% are set aside for adults with IDD.

Members of the Accessible Community Task Force and the Senior Task Force provided feedback on the proposals, which are to be incorporated into Gorman’s plans.

The two main concerns for the Senior Task Force were the long-term affordability of the units and access to transportation.

If the council selects Gorman, formal plans still would require Planning and Zoning Commission hearings and final City Council approval.

Construction could begin as early as summer 2024 and is expected to last 18 months, according to the city’s website. Under that schedule, tenant leasing could begin in 2026.

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