LBGTQ-friendly, mixed-use development announced by Moreno


Proposed John Pennycuff building at Robert Castillo Plaza

Named The John Pennycuff Memorial Apartments at Robert Castillo Plaza, an LBGTQ-friendly, mixed-use, 88-unit development is proposed, according to an announcement from 1st Ward Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno, today. 

To be located at 2031 N. Milwaukee Ave., this seven-story building will be the second Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ)-friendly affordable housing building, and the largest LGBTQ complex in the City of Chicago. The plan is that it will contain 100% affordable housing units made possible through the use of TIF funds from the existing Milwaukee-Fullerton Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district. 

“I am pleased to announce this TIF-funded affordable housing project in Logan Square, which has been in the planning process for more than two years,” said Alderman Moreno. “As you know, my commitment has always been to use TIF funds for two reasons: schools and affordable housing. I think this housing development is a great opportunity to bring even more affordability to Logan Square.” 

"This is a fantastic new project proposed for this part of Chicago where John and Robert actively and passionately worked for affordable housing," said Tracy Baim, Publisher and Executive Editor at Windy City Media Group, which produces Windy City Times, Nightspots, and other gay media. "This will allow more people to stay in the community." 

Project partners
According to Moreno's office, the community partners for this development include the Metropolitan Housing Development Corporation, La Casa Norte, Latin United Community Housing Association (LUCHA) and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. 

Financing is to come from a combination of Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) funds, TIF money, tax credits and private funding. 

Community review
The first step for community review and approval for the development will be Sat., May 21, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Congress Pizzeria located at 2033 N. Milwaukee  Ave. 

Both John Pennycuff and Robert Castillo were born in Logan square. Individually and as life partners they shared a passion for advocating for greater equality for Chicago's LGTBQ communities and affordable housing in Logan Square. 

They both served on The City of Council Advisory Council on LGBT Issues and were the first couple to register for the Cook County Domestic Partnership Registry in 2003. They were legally married in 2004. While Pennycuff passed away in January 2012, his legacy lives on as Castillo continues his work in the community.



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