A render of an upcoming LGBTQ senior housing development

Rendering: Courtesy of Gensler

Construction of an affordable housing development designed to welcome LGBTQ seniors will get underway this month on the site of a historical police station in Lake View.

“There are some of our LGBTQ seniors who probably were arrested and detained there for activism around equality or the AIDS epidemic or funding for people living with HIV,” says Modesto “Tico” Valle, head of the Center on Halsted, an LGBTQ-community support agency that is a partner in the project. “I love the fact that it’s [now] going to honor seniors who paved the way for our rights today.”

The $26 million project entails rehabbing the old Town Hall station on the northwest corner of Addison and Halsted, and building a six-story, 79-unit apartment building north of it, where defunct police garages now stand. It’s a joint effort of the Center on Halsted, whose main facility is at the north end of the same block, and Heartland Housing, a longtime developer of affordable homes.

The yet-unnamed project will be the first built in the Midwest and is in a race of sorts to be the second in the country. First was one in Los Angeles; a similar project in Philadelphia broke ground in November and may open before the Chicago facility’s planned summer 2014 completion.

Click through the images below to read more about the project.