CRE N Illinois

Independence Branch library opens in Chicago’s Irving Park neighborhood

Mayor Rahm Emanuel (center), and David Block, director of development for Evergreen Real Estate Group (second from right), along with other city and elected officials, celebrate a ribbon-cutting for the Independence Branch Library at 4024 N. Elston Ave. in Irving Park. Evergreen Real Estate Group is developing two co-located library/senior housing projects in a creative interagency partnership with the city of Chicago, Chicago Housing Authority and Chicago Public Library. Mayor Rahm Emanuel (center), and David Block, director of development for Evergreen Real Estate Group (second from right), along with other city and elected officials, celebrate a ribbon-cutting for the Independence Branch Library at 4024 N. Elston Ave. in Irving Park. Evergreen Real Estate Group is developing two co-located library/senior housing projects in a creative interagency partnership with the city of Chicago, Chicago Housing Authority and Chicago Public Library.
Books are displayed on the second floor of the new Independence Branch Library in Chicago's Irving Park neighborhood. (Credit: Brooke Collins/City of Chicago) Books are displayed on the second floor of the new Independence Branch Library in Chicago's Irving Park neighborhood. (Credit: Brooke Collins/City of Chicago)
A public ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Independence Branch Library was held on Jan. 22. A public ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Independence Branch Library was held on Jan. 22.

Evergreen Real Estate Group recently celebrated the grand opening of the Independence Branch Library in Chicago’s Irving Park neighborhood. Located at 4024 N. Elston Avenue, the branch is one of two co-located library/senior housing developments that Evergreen is building in partnership with the city of Chicago, Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and Chicago Public Library.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel attended the January 22 ribbon-cutting, along with Chicago Public Library commissioner and CEO Brian Bannon; CHA CEO Eugene E. Jones Jr.; 45th Ward Ald. John Arena, whose ward includes the property; 39th Ward Ald. Marge Laurino; other elected officials; Evergreen team members and community residents.

“Because of the vision and leadership of Mayor Emanuel and our civic partners, Chicago is leading the way with these innovative developments that have transformed how libraries and senior housing are designed,” said David Block, director of development for Evergreen Real Estate Group. “The Independence Library is an innovative work of architecture—one that serves as an important social and educational anchor for the neighborhood. We know the seniors who will reside in the co-located residences will greatly benefit from the books, events, cultural amenities and services offered by this new library.”

Designed by John Ronan Architects, the two-level library features an open floor plan with large expanses of glass that offer abundant natural light. Numerous flexible spaces can accommodate meetings or independent study, while a graduated seating staircase seamlessly connects the first and second floors.

The Independence Apartments, located above the library branch, consist of 44 senior residences—30 public housing units and 14 affordable apartments—each of which will include a brightly colored insert balcony. In addition to the library, amenities will include a fitness room and outdoor terrace with green space. First move-ins are expected this spring.