Vitus Group Green Overhaul of 1980s Structure Will Preserve 174 Affordable Housing Units

CHICAGO – Today Vitus Group, a Seattle-based developer and owner of affordable housing nationwide, announced their acquisition of the Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza Apartments, a multifamily affordable apartment project located on the West side of Chicago. The much-needed renovations of the 1970s building are expected to be completed in December, 2015.

“Chicago, like so many other cities, is grappling with the problem of providing more affordable housing to its residents as many apartments were built decades ago and require extensive repairs,” said Stephen Whyte, CEO of Vitus Group. “There is an urgent need to preserve existing affordable housing stocks, and we’re dedicated to funding and rehabilitating the right projects to do just that.”

With these upgrades, the project will provide comparable or better quality housing than other housing in the market area. The rehabilitation will be implemented without either temporary or permanent relocation of the residents.

The apartments are an example of VitusGreen®, a commitment to environmentally friendly construction and energy efficient housing. To honor this commitment, upgrades will include high efficiency boilers, Low-e glazing windows, ENERGY STAR certified appliances and high efficiency plumbing fixtures.

“By taking on this renovation, we’re bringing these affordable housing units up to the standard of market rate housing, which will bring a big benefit to current residents and the whole neighborhood,” said Scott Langan, director at Vitus Group. “We’re looking forward to seeing how this project will transform the community.”

The rehabilitation budget is approximately $53,000 per unit. The rehabilitation will include improvements to the general site such as replacement of damaged walks, repainting of existing fences, landscaping, and installation of a security system. Exterior upgrades will include the replacement of all roofing, masonry repairs and replacement of windows as needed. The interior renovation will upgrade accessibility to comply with ADA standards, installation of new lighting and appliances, new cabinets and countertops, and the selective installation of new plumbing fixtures.

Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza Apartments contains low-rise apartment buildings with 137 rental dwelling units and a rental management office. The building was originally constructed in 1972. All of the 137 units have a Housing Assistant Payments (HAP) contract. At closing, the HAP contract will be renewed for a 20 year term, subject to Federal appropriations.