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Sunset Woods

Brinshore Development, LLC, and Housing Opportunity Development Corporation, Highland Park, Lake County

Housing Development

The development

Sunset Woods is a three-story, 60-unit, 100 percent affordable senior housing development in Highland Park. Opened in 2000, this high-quality development was made possible through a City land donation and fee waivers (impact, permit and hook-up fees). The building provides many amenities, including exercise and laundry rooms on every floor and a medical screening room for residents. The building overlooks historic 38-acre Sunset Woods Park, which has been a part of Highland Park since 1920. The park is accessible to disabled persons and incorporates amenities such as an outdoor ice skating rink, tennis courts, picnic areas and walking paths.

Creating affordability

Sunset Woods has 48 for-sale condominiums and 12 rental apartments owned by the City of Highland Park Housing Commission through the Sunset Woods Association. The apartments are managed by the Housing Opportunity Development Corporation, a private, nonprofit housing organization. Of the 12 rental apartments, five are available to households with incomes at or below 60 percent area median income (AMI) ($47,700 for a family of four in 2014) and seven are available to households at or below 80 percent AMI ($57,900 for a family of four in 2014).

Subject to change, 16 of the condominium units are for households up to 80 percent AMI. The remaining units are for households up to 115 percent AMI. All of the condominiums utilize deed restrictions to remain affordable for 40 years.

Resale prices of the condominiums are restricted to the lesser of the following:

  • The fair market value of the unit at the time of sale as determined by an appraiser approved by the Housing Commission, taking into account any use or occupancy restrictions that may be binding on the home; or
  • The original purchase price at the time the seller purchased the unit, increased by an amount equal to the lesser of three percent for each year after the seller’s original closing date; or inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index, for the period of time that the owner resided in the unit.


Brinshore Development

  • Target

    Low-and-moderate income seniors.

  • Development information

    Type: Ownership and rental mixed-income senior housing
    Total Units: 60
    Total Affordable Units: 60
    For-sale: 48
    Rental: 12

  • Funding sources

    • Land donation: $1.8 million
    • Lake County HOME funds: $240,000
    • Federal Home Loan Bank: $60,000
    • Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund: $750,000
    • Private Financing: $7.1 million
      • Total Cost: $10.1 million

  • Lessons learned

    The negotiations and approvals process was lengthy—18 months. The City of Highland Park’s land donation and fee waiver were critical to the success of the development. The City learned a lot from the process, including the need to make eligibility requirements stricter by imposing limitations on assets in addition to income requirements. The City hopes to spend less time negotiating on future proposals.