Courtesy The Michaels Organization

Described as a “book-shaped” building, Clybourn 1200 offers a design aesthetic not often seen in affordable housing. The seven-story, mixed-use concrete structure, designed by architect Pappageorge Haymes Partners, maintains the acute angle of its site and appears as an open book between two angled streets. Glazed end walls emerge from the “spine,” composed of a glass feature and canopy, while the façade features a staggered pattern of precast panels and windows alternating in size and orientation.

Brinshore Development and The Michaels Organization tried to appeal to various socioeconomic backgrounds at Clybourn 1200, which is located in a rapidly gentrifying area of Chicago. The building’s 84 units are divided into three rental rates: 31% at or below 60% of the average median income (AMI), 31% at or below 80% AMI, and 38% at market rate. The unit types include a 477-square-foot studio, a 1,000-square-foot one-bedroom, and a 1,463-square-foot two-bedroom. Rent prices are determined based on resident income but range from $786 to $2,074.

Besides offering affordable units, the community promotes economic integration through its partnership with the Near North Unity Program. The effort provides programs and opportunities to get involved in the civic life of the larger neighborhood. Management also provides residents with a social services coordinator with counseling options ranging from health care and nutrition to educational opportunities and community programming.

Additionally, Clybourn 1200 comes equipped with a community garden where residents have the opportunity to acquire a plot of garden space and learn about sustainable living and healthy life choices. Plus, a collection of beehives were placed on the seventh-floor roof by the Chicago Honey Cooperative to teach tenants about beekeeping and honey collection.

More sustainable features include a continuous closed cell spray foam envelope insulation system, low-E windows, hydronic radiant floor heating, Energy Star appliances, and a solar-panel water-heater system with evacuated tube solar collectors to reduce water-heating costs. Due to these features, the building has received Green Globe certification.

Its close proximity to many community destinations and public transportation gives Clybourn 1200 a Walk Score of 95, but if residents do need to house a vehicle, underground parking is available.

On the ground floor, the building hosts four commercial businesses: a day-care center, a bank, an Italian motorcycle apparel store, and a mattress store.

Upon the development’s completion in March 2017, the demand for units was so high that the leasing office had more applications than units available. The developer was able to increase the rent on the market-rate units, and all of the affordable units were leased three months ahead of projections. To this day, management maintains an extensive waiting list.