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updated: 4/4/2014 11:48 AM

New public housing to replace old Marion Jones complex in Lake County

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  • David Northern

      David Northern


Public housing will take on a different look with a $37 million project in North Chicago, officials at a Lake County agency announced Thursday.

Marion Jones Townhomes on Sherman Avenue will be demolished, according to the Lake County Housing Authority. That demolition will allow 238 affordable homes to be built on an adjacent site, with seniors and families targeted as occupants, authority officials said.

Lake County Housing Authority CEO David Northern said in a statement the $37 million development will be good for the local economy by creating several construction and other jobs. He said financing will come from public and private sources, including the housing authority and the federal government.

"Through the replacement of an obsolete housing project, we now have the opportunity to create a housing development that ... more accurately meets the needs of Lake County's diverse population while providing jobs and economic development for the county," Northern said.

Plans call for 50 units specifically for those 62 and older to be built first, along with a community room, fitness center, computer laboratory and landscaping.

Officials said that work is to start in late 2015 or early 2016.

In the second phase, 188 family apartments are to be completed in late 2016.

Constructed in 1961, the Marion Jones complex is one of the oldest public housing developments in the state, officials said.

About 300 residents will receive a chance to move into the new homes.

Because of the pending demolition, all Marion Jones residents considered to be in good standing will receive the option of moving to other Lake County Housing Authority properties or using vouchers to live anywhere in the United States.

Formed in 1946, the Lake County Housing Authority supports more than 11,000 residents and mostly receives its public funding from the federal government. It is the fourth-largest housing authority in Illinois.

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