“Plans are underway to convert a closed West Englewood elementary school into a multi-unit affordable housing development.
“Charles Earle Elementary, 6121 S. Hermitage, was one of 50 CPS schools permanently closed in 2013, and it has been dormant since. When Wisconsin-based Gorman and Co. bought the building for $200,000 in 2017, there was talk of turning the old school into senior housing, but those plans were later scrapped.
“Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) and two groups partnering to convert the closed school shared their plans for the building at a virtual meeting Monday. They said the development, Earl School Residences, would have affordable housing and other amenities, like a fitness room.
“Lopez held several community engagement sessions with the help of Beehyyve, an architecture and engineering design collaborative led by E.G. Woode’s Deon Lucas, to get an idea of what residents wanted in the building. Residents said they wanted housing, an event space and a project that would create jobs for the community.
“A sample layout of a 2 bedroom unit, which will also include loft-style apartments.
The school’s structure will remain intact with 63 units of affordable housing built. Gorman and Phoenix Recovery Support Services will share ownership of the site.
“The development will also have an outdoor community space, a fitness station, a wellness trail and a playground. A combination of low-income housing tax credits and historic tax credits may be used to finance the $22.5 million project.
“Gorman submitted its financial applications for Earle at the beginning of January, with one part having been already approved by the National Park Service’s State Historic Preservation office. Part two of its application needs approval from the same office. Clewer said that they hope to hear “good news” regarding their low-income housing tax credit application by June.
‘This is a very important project for West Englewood and Englewood as a whole,’ Lopez said. ‘The last time we saw a major project of this magnitude was 2010, and we’re setting high standards.'” (Nesbitt Golden, Block Club Chicago, 2/2/21)