“I really enjoy the opportunity that exists to make a difference in this neighborhood,” says Benjamin Van Horne, whose Greenline Development is completing its fifth, sixth, and seventh small condo buildings in Chicago’s struggling Woodlawn neighborhood. Those three buildings, all on the 6600 block of South Ingleside Avenue, come in the wake of projects he has built—and sold out—on South Maryland and South Kimbark avenues, for a total of 41 housing units. Here, 6 of 19 units remain for sale.
“We have the ability to build here at a higher quality for a lower price,” says Van Horne, who notes that buying city-owned vacant lots for $1 immediately establishes a very low floor for his sale prices. Buyers get another break from the Department of Community Development, which will provide $20,000 toward the down payment and closing costs.
All the buildings were designed by the architect John Hanna, who created structures that, as Van Horne puts it, “don’t tell you right away that they’re low cost.” On South Ingleside, varied window sizes gave one building a sharp geometrical look. Another building has a bold façade of shiny yellow glazed brick. “Everybody and his mother tried to squeeze more condos into the North Side,” Van Horne says. “Down here, I’ve been doing something different.”
Photograph: Courtesy of Greenline Development