Skip to main content

The Polk Bros. Foundation Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Award

Ansonia Properties, LLC for Lake Village East

 Creativity does not just pertain to design. It can also define process, which is exactly what Ansonia Properties embraced with the major renovation of the Lake Village East apartments at 47th and Lake Park in the Hyde Park-Kenwood neighborhood.

The buildings – 200 units in the high-rise, another 18 in the low-rise – hadn’t undergone any improvements or updating since its construction in the 1970s. “It needed significant capital investment,” said Robert Kaplan, Principal of Ansonia. “The challenge became how do you pay for it? One way would be to raise the rents to market; the other way would be to cobble together a series of subsidies to support the renovation.”

While the residents welcomed the face-lift, they were also nervous about potential displacement and increasing rents as the 40-year subsidy agreement moved close to expiration.

Here’s where the creativity comes in: Rather than transforming the apartments into all-market rate units which would have burdened many of Lake Village East’s long-time residents with an unaffordable rent increase, forcing them to relocate to less expensive properties and new neighborhoods, Ansonia worked with local, state and federal agencies to convert their enhanced housing vouchers into place-based vouchers. The Chicago Housing Authority’s support for place-based vouchers helped preserve the affordability of Lake Village East for the long-term low-income renters, enabling them to remain in their apartments and the community.

The building now has a remodeled and welcoming first-floor and entry-way with updated elevators and a new lounge for residents equipped with Wi-Fi access. All residents have new kitchens, featuring top-of-the line, Energy Star appliances and environmentally-friendly windows and thermostats, allowing for control of the temperature in their own apartments – another first. Today the developers have a beautiful building in their portfolio and the neighborhood has preserved valuable affordable housing, making Lake Village East a “win-win” for everyone.

“It’s a great location,” Kaplan said. “The idea of making sure residents are able to continue to afford to live in the same community and making their homes better and more comfortable is just terrific – it makes our team proud.”

For its collaborative design process and innovative facilities, Ansonia Properties, LLC is proud to bestow the 10th anniversary of the Polk Bros. Foundation Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Award for the Lake Village East apartments.