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Council approves LGBT-friendly Pennycuff-Castillo residences, plaza
by Matt Simonette
2016-12-14

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The Chicago City Council, on Dec. 14, approved borrowing of $16 million for LGBT-residences in Logan Square.

The complex, located at 2033 N. Milwaukee Ave., will be named after LGBT- and housing-rights activist Robert Castillo and his husband, fellow activist John Pennycuff, who passed away in 2012.

The project has been championed by Ald. Joe Moreno ( 1st ), who at the meeting both said the project was a worthwhile use of Tax Increment Finance money and praised Castillo's activism, according to DNA Info.

The seven-story building will have 88 units and 2,400 feet of retail space. It is the second LGBT-friendly affordable housing facility in the city, after the Town Hall apartment complex in Lake View. But the Logan Square complex will not be aimed specifically at senior residents as Town Hall is. Ald. Tom Tunney ( 44th ) said at the Dec. 14 meeting that Town Hall has a waiting list of 400 residents.

At the May 21 unveiling of the project's plans—held at the pizzeria where the complex will one day stand—Castillo reflected on what it means for him and the memory of his late husband.

"Obviously, this is bittersweet," he said. "A lot of friends posted that they wish John were here to see this. Obviously, I wish John were here. But this is a legacy to all the work that he's done, not only for the LGBT community but also the Logan Square community. We were born here, we did a lot of our activism here, and a lot of our community work [here], so I think it's fitting that there will be LGBT-friendly affordable housing in Logan Square in our honor."

The complex will be named The John Pennycuff Memorial Apartments at Robert Castillo Plaza and will be financed through the use of TIF funds from the existing Milwaukee-Fullerton TIF district, as well as Chicago Housing Authority ( CHA ) funds, tax credits and private funding.

DNA Info's story is at dnain.fo/2gCg6fA.


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