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Nonprofit buys Humboldt Park community center, quelling fears it would become market-rate homes

Paul Roldan, CEO of the Hispanic Housing Development Corporation and a picture of 2017 Puerto Rican People’s Parade (Credit: Facebook)

The Hispanic Housing Development Corporation bought the Casa Puertorriqueña community center in Humboldt Park, quelling an outcry from neighbors and the local alderman who feared it would be replaced with market-rate homes.

A judge Thursday approved the nonprofit’s $1 million purchase of the building from the Puerto Rican Parade Committee of Chicago, which owes more than $900,000 in debt and is being investigated for financial misconduct, according to Block Club Chicago.

The building, 1237 North California Avenue, sits around the corner from the four-block stretch of Division Street known as Paseo Boricua, the city’s hallmark Puerto Rican cultural district at the edge of the 207-acre Humboldt Park.

When the Puerto Rican Parade Committee put the community center up for sale earlier this year, Alderman Roberto Maldonado (26th) moved to change the property’s zoning so he could block a market-rate developer from building on it.

Hispanic Housing Development Corporation CEO Paul Roldan told Block Club he plans to build an undetermined number of affordable apartments on the site.

The Chicago-based non-profit developer lists 41 apartment complexes in its portfolio, mostly in the Chicago metro area.

Home prices are skyrocketing in Humboldt Park, where the 606 Trail is pushing buyers west from red-hot neighborhoods like Wicker Park and Logan Square. [Block Club Chicago] — Alex Nitkin

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