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National Trust - Excellence in Historic Preservation


Belle Shore Apartments in Chicago

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo has awarded the 1999 National Trust/HUD Secretary's Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation to the Belle Shore Apartments in Chicago.

The award recognizes excellence in advancing the goals of historic preservation while providing affordable housing and expanded economic opportunities, particularly for low- and moderate-income people. This is the second year the award has been given.

HUD Deputy Secretary Saul Ramirez presented the award today to the Holsten Real Estate Development Corporation, the project developer, at the 53rd National Preservation Conference in Washington.

"The Belle Shore Apartments are a powerful example of how historic preservation can benefit a neighborhood and families who live there," Cuomo said. "With its restored apartments and shops, the building is an anchor for the revitalization of the neighborhood."

The Belle Shore Apartments are located at 1062 West Bryn Mawr Avenue in the Edgewater neighborhood, one of Chicago's historic districts.

The restored eight-story apartment building provides affordable housing for 140 low- and moderate-income residents, and includes five ground-level businesses -- a restaurant, a coffee bar, a hair salon, a branch of a national bank, and a bicycle shop.

Income levels of residents of the building are 50 percent and 60 percent of the area median income, amounting to $22,350 to $26,820 for one person. Federal low-income housing tax credits and an extended use agreement secure the affordability of the units for 30 years. Many units are occupied by the elderly, people with disabilities, and formerly homeless people.

The resources necessary to fund the Belle Shore Apartments included tax exempt bonds, Tax Increment Financing (TIF), below-market interest rate loans through the State of Illinois, city grants and low-interest rate loans plus equity from both historic and low-income housing tax credits. HUD's Federal Housing Administration played an important role in financing by insuring the $9 million mortgage for the tax-exempt housing bond issued by the city.

A jury of preservation professionals and HUD representatives is invited each year by the President of the National Trust and the HUD Secretary to review the nominations for the award and recommend a winner. Any organization, agency or project involved in historic preservation is eligible to receive the award.