McShane Ashlaur Joint Venture (comprised of McShane Construction Company and Ashlaur Construction) broke ground on The Foglia Residences at The Chicago Lighthouse in Chicago, Illinois, for clients Brinshore Development and The Chicago Lighthouse. The new multi-family development will incorporate 76 affordable units for residents who are blind, visually impaired, disabled, and veterans. The development will be the first Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) building in the nation for the blind community. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on August 25 to mark the start of the project. Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Congressman Danny Davis, and Alderman Walter Burnett, whose support was instrumental in gaining traction for the project, were in attendance.
“The Chicago Lighthouse is a wonderful organization that provides education, employment and specialized services,” commented David Rintz, Regional Vice President – Multi-Family at McShane. “We’re thrilled to partner with Ashlaur and Brinshore to build the organization’s first residential development that will provide safe, affordable and accessible housing for residents who are blind, visually impaired, disabled, or veterans.”
Positioned adjacent to The Chicago Lighthouse’s current center in Chicago’s 27th Ward in the Illinois Medical District, the nine-story structure will feature podium construction with three levels of parking, first-floor retail space, and six levels of units. The exterior will integrate an attractive mix of perforated metal panels, brick veneer, and fiber cement siding. At roof level, there will be back-lit translucent panels symbolizing a lighthouse.
Units will be offered in studio, one-, and two-bedroom floorplans and will provide accessible, independent living for qualifying low-income households. Features will include Energy Star appliances, cultured marble vanities, WaterSense plumbing fixtures, and luxury vinyl plank, carpet, and tile flooring.
Tenant amenities will include a fitness center, community room, and fourth-floor rooftop terrace. Outside, residents will be able to enjoy a courtyard with a dog run and a playground.
To make the residence fully accessible for its tenants, the common areas will offer contrasting colors, lit braille unit signage, handrails on both sides of the corridors, and braille wallpaper.
The development was designed with sustainability in mind to achieve Enterprise Green Communities certification.
Completion of the project is expected for May 2024. LBBA is the architect.