Fifth City Commons To Begin Leasing To West Side Residents In The Spring

Rendering of the Fifth City Commons Project, formerly known as Garfield Green. Credit: Nia Architects

The East Garfield Park development will include up to 80 affordable housing units, including some for-sale housing, and will be the new home of Semicolon Bookstore.

EAST GARFIELD PARK — A $38 million affordable housing development coming to East Garfield Park will begin leasing in the spring, officials said.

The Fifth City Commons development, 3155 W. Fifth Ave., will begin leasing its affordable apartments in April, representatives for developer Preservation of Affordable Housing Midwest told neighbors at a Garfield Park Community Council meeting Wednesday.

The first phase of construction, which began in July, includes a three-story building with 43 apartments plus community rooms, a terrace, fitness room, laundry rooms and on-site management offices, developers said. The next phase will be built across the street on the north side of Fifth Avenue and will include affordable home ownership opportunities, developers previously said.

All told, the project could contain up to 80 housing units, including the for-sale housing.

A Fifth City representative confirmed that Semicolon Bookstore will have a dedicated space in the development. The popular bookstore closed its River West location ahead of its planned move into the new development.

The project adds affordable housing near the Kedzie Green and Blue Line stations and will boost the West Side’s stock of electric vehicle charging stations, retail space and energy-efficient buildings.

Fifth City Commons is slated to be completed next year.

A rendering of the Fifth City Commons project, which will include affordable housing and retail components. Credit: Provided

Previously called Garfield Green, the project was touted by Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) and other developers to counteract displacement and gentrification by providing residents with better transit-oriented housing options.

The project caters to individuals and families making up to 80 percent of the area median income, or $88,250 per year for a family of four, city officials said.

Development firm Preservation of Affordable Housing was awarded the site in 2019 after winning a global design competition focused on sustainability.

Rooftop solar panels will supply two-thirds of the building’s energy, according to developers. Other environmentally friendly features include triple-pane windows, extensive insulation and air sealing to lower the building’s energy needs.

In addition to the electric vehicle charging stations, there will be extensive bicycle parking, and on-site composting, developers have said.

City Council approved a battery of financial assistance for the project last year, including tax increment financing and HOME investment Partnership Program assistance, sales tax bonds, Low Income Housing Tax Credits and tax-exempt bonds, according to the ordinance and a spokesperson for the developer.