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updated: 9/27/2019 5:37 PM

Work begins on new affordable housing project in Elgin

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  • People gather under a tent in the rain Friday for a groundbreaking for the project to convert the former Larkin Center in Elgin into affordable housing.

    People gather under a tent in the rain Friday for a groundbreaking for the project to convert the former Larkin Center in Elgin into affordable housing.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Candles are raised during a prayer Friday at the groundbreaking for the project to convert the former Larkin Center in Elgin into affordable housing.

    Candles are raised during a prayer Friday at the groundbreaking for the project to convert the former Larkin Center in Elgin into affordable housing.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald staff report

The construction project to turn the former Larkin Center in Elgin into affordable housing broke ground Friday afternoon.

The three-story historic building at 1212 Larkin Ave. dates back to 1912 and sits on 3.4 acres with three other buildings, including a former dormitory.

The center, which closed in 2013, provided residential care and counseling mostly for youths with behavioral and emotional problems. A Chicago organization briefly provided some services there until the site was shuttered for good in 2014.

The Chicago nonprofit Full Circle Communities bought the site to convert it into affordable housing, including for people with disabilities. The main building will be preserved and 12 new ones will be built; construction will last about a year, Full Circle Vice President Lindsey Haines said.

"I've driven by this place for 40 years and I'm excited to see what it's going to become," Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said Friday.

Elgin Mayor David Kaptain said his vision for the city was to provide quality housing for everyone.

"We talked to people and virtually everyone in this neighborhood said 'Yes' to this project," Kaptain said.