In keeping with my commitment to preserve affordable housing in the 49th Ward, I am pleased to report that the Broadmoor Hotel on Howard Street will soon have a new owner who will renovate the historic 90-unit building and maintain it as affordable rental housing.
Rogers Park developer, Lou Sopcic, recently was awarded the right to purchase the property in return for an agreement to keep the building affordable to people of low and moderate income for at least the next 25 years. Mr. Sopcic and his family enjoy an excellent reputation as quality housing developers, and I am confident he will be a good and responsible landlord. I am proud to have played a role in preserving the Boradmoor’s affordability.
Built in 1923 and located at the northwest corner of Howard and Bosworth, the Broadmoor was once a luxury hotel and the site of a number of ballroom dances that were broadcast live on WBBM Radio. In fact, legend has it that WBBM’s call letters stood for “We Broadcast from the BroadMoor!”
Unfortunately, the building began to fall in serious disrepair over the years, and became a serious source of criminal activity in the neighborhood. After the most recent ownership entity dissolved two years ago, the City of Chicago Department of Housing stepped in and included the Broadmoor in its Troubled Buildings Initiative. The City assigned the building to the Community Investment Corporation (CIC), a not-for-profit mortgage lender that provides financing to buy and repair buildings in distress.
CIC acted as a receiver on the building and promptly secured an experienced manager who hired on-site security guards and began making needed repairs. CIC, with the support of the Illinois Housing Development Authority and the Chicago’s Department of Housing, issued a “Request for Proposal” from developers to acquire and renovate the buildings.
At my urging, the City of Chicago released its mortgage claim on the Broadmoor, helping to insure that the building could be maintained as an affordable rental building.
I am extremely pleased that CIC selected Lou Sopcic to be the Broadmoor’s new owner. Mr. Sopcic shares my commitment to preserving affordable housing and will engage in a complete rehabilitation of the building’s apartments and storefronts. As part of the purchase agreement, Mr. Sopcic and his successors must maintain the affordability of the building for the next 25 years and maintain on-site security guards. Mr. Sopcic also plans to have his building manger live in the Broadmoor.
Mr. Sopcic is expected to close on the building in the next three to four months and to begin rehabilitation of the building shortly thereafter. Only about 50 of the building’s 90 units are currently occupied, thus enabling Mr. Sopcic to renovate the building without forcing any of the current residents to leave.
Hopefully within a year and a half, the Broadmoor will once again be the crown jewel of Howard Street!
Very truly yours,