The sponsors of the proposed Comcast building project offer 10 reasons why we think you should support our proposed rehabilitation:
1) The project will restore a badly deteriorated commercial building that is an eyesore on Madison Street, while also restoring an important historic building and bringing back its original brick façade.
2) The renovated building will pay more property taxes to Oak Park and the school districts than the current building pays or would pay, even if a commercial tenant could be located. The renovation will increase tax revenues for the schools without adding a significant number of new students to the district.
3) The building will provide badly needed affordable housing for low income individuals who cannot currently afford to live in Oak Park, including young workers earning a minimum wage, veterans, persons with disabilities and seniors.
4) The restoration will provide 51 units of accessible housing, which is currently in short supply in Oak Park.
5) Oak Park residents and individuals working in Oak Park will be given a preference in selecting building residents.
6) The developers of the building are three respected nonprofit organizations that have more than 150 years of combined experience in developing and managing rental housing. The Oak Park Housing Authority will be a part of the development team, and its affiliate the Oak Park Residence Corp. will manage the building. Both local organizations have a long history of responsible development in this community.
7) The owners will put together a board of managers to oversee the operation and management of the building by the property management company. This board will include representation from the surrounding neighborhood.
8) The renovation will include 5,200 square feet of commercial space and further the commercial redevelopment of Madison.
9) The building will be a LEED-certified "green" building that will further Oak Park's efforts to promote sustainable development.
10) The renovation will clean up the environmental contamination of the building and adjacent parking lot that resulted from its former use as an auto dealership and service station.
If you wish to learn more about the project and why we think you should support it, we invite you to visit the website of the Oak Park Housing Authority, www.oakparkha.org.
Interfaith Housing Development Corp., Oak Park Housing Authority and Catholic Charities