South Suburban complex offers downtown amenities

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Riverwood Apartments in Lansing, Illinois offers many amenities found in Chicago downtown highrises for much less.

By Sharon Fountain

For some time now, the population in Chicago has been on a steady decline. In the latest U.S. Census data on net population, researchers looked deeper and discovered not everyone was leaving the state. Many of the high-income earners were relocating to Chicago’s downtown leading to the market rates and quality of housing being redefined for the affluent, while creating a new demand for the remaining population.

No matter who you are when it comes to housing, people want the same thing—affordable housing. One possible solution for prospective renters is to revisit housing developments that have undergone renovation. Riverwood Apartment Homes, 3649 173rd Court in Lansing, Illinois is one such place with 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units with either 1-2 baths — ranging in price from $800 to $1,300.

Owned by Bayshore Properties of Northwest Indiana, Riverwood is part of a real estate portfolio, which has over 25 years in property management, owns six other multi-family properties and operates apartment communities in three different states.

Built in 1972, Riverwood was acquired by Bayshore Properties and has 354 units in three story elevator buildings. They began renovations to this south suburban complex a few years ago, which they continue to do in phases.

One of the latest features being offered in a downtown Chicago apartment building is voice-activated controls. While you may not be able to speak commands to control the lights, shades, change the temperature or turn on music in your apartment, there are plenty of other amenities in Riverwood similar to downtown buildings.

For instance, prospective tenants can schedule an appointment to tour an apartment online. It is located off I-94 and serves both the Chicago and Gary, Indiana markets. The complexs has well-maintained grounds, beautifully landscaped outdoor space and parking. Like many downtown apartments, Riverwood boasts being pet friendly with the same breed restrictions. The units feature kitchen appliances, carpet, walk-in closets, air conditioning, individual heat, ceiling fans, cable ready, balcony, and storage units. Services include package service, laundry facilities in each building on each floor, controlled access, maintenance on site, and property manager on site.

Of course, there are more factors that go into an individual’s housing choice depending on their age and stage in life, but certainly safety is somewhere near the top for everyone. Over 150 cameras have been installed throughout to complement the onsite security staff. The management office has a very knowledgeable, professional and courteous staff. They also write a newsletter every week for the tenants. The staff is accessible in person or through the online portal Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday between 10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

One prospective tenant said, “A few weeks ago, we did a showing at Riverwood Apartments and met the property managers Frano Tomic and Taylor Adams, along with the leasing agent Jonni Malizia and the office administrator Chinell Cross. They made us feel right at home throughout the showing and while processing our applications. The office is welcoming and friendly. The residents who came in made us feel already welcomed into the community at Riverwood. We look forward to moving in and starting our lives at Riverwood!”

The interior and exterior of the grounds and buildings have been refreshed to upscale the look and feel of the complex. The gated development includes a courtyard, sundeck, clubhouse, views of the grounds, fitness center stocked with free weights, a pool, playground and basketball court.  For more information on Riverwood Apartment Homes visit their website at:  www.bayshoreprops.com/riverwood/.

Another possible solution to provide affordable housing to the remaining income market has been new construction projects in communities outside of downtown.

In August, a proposed development in East Garfield Park was announced that would be a mixed-used building with 114 apartments, a performing arts center, retail space and a tech incubator.  Siri and Milton Hibbler, the developers of the Rebirth Garfield Park project, grew up in the East Garfield Park neighborhood. Now they want to revive this community.

Although the project has not been approved for construction by Chicago city officials, U.S. Representative Danny Davis (7th) recognized the significance the apartments would have on revitalizing the area. “It is affordable housing that is needed to bring this area back.” Hibbler said the apartments will be a mix of affordable and market-priced rentals in two-to five-story buildings. Affordable two-bedroom rentals, made available to people who meet specific income qualifications, will be about $800 a month, she said, while market-rate two-bedroom units will be about $1,400 a month.

Likewise in Gary and East Chicago, projects were announced earlier this summer. One for a senior housing development in East Chicago with plans to break ground this fall. And, a second development in Gary’s downtown area.

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