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  Construction of the NewStar apartment building on
  Leavitt Avenue in Flossmoor is about to begin.

  (Photo by Tom Houlihan/H-F Chronicle)


Right now, the fenced-in building site near downtown Flossmoor looks like a hole in the ground and a pair of self-standing brick walls.
But construction at 1032 and 1038 Leavitt Ave. is about to begin in earnest.
Dan Strick, CEO of New Star Services, said Saturday that crews this week will pour the foundation for a six-unit apartment building that will be home to developmentally disabled adults who want to live independently. It will be first such apartment complex in Illinois.
Strick said construction of the building is on schedule and that he expects it will be ready for occupancy in September.
“It’s not a real complicated design,” he said. “It should go up relatively quickly.”
To make room for the apartments, the house at 1032 Leavitt was completely demolished. The former Martsci Montessori School building, at 1038 Leavitt, was mostly taken down; only its foundation and the two brick walls are still in place.
Strick said the two walls will be part of new building so that the project is not considered new construction. That allows New Star to build the structure under Flossmoor’s previous setback ordinance, he said.
New concrete will be poured over the existing foundation at the former school..
The apartments are an exciting project for New Star, Strick said.
“This is creating another level of support for people with developmental disabilities who don’t need the 24-hour-a-day services of a group home,” he said.
New Star has been getting calls “almost daily” from people who are interested in the apartments, he said.
The apartments have been be designed so that developmentally disabled people can live independently and receive a minimum of services from New Star. Tenants are likely to be people between 22 and 35 who are high school graduates and have jobs.
With a location just west of downtown Flossmoor, the apartments will be close to amenities such as the Metra station, library, restaurants and post office.
The entire project is expected to cost just over $2 million, Strick said. That amount will cover architect and attorney fees, design, actual construction and developer fees, he said.
Two government agencies ― the Illinois Housing Development Authority and the Housing Authority of Cook County ― are funding the apartment project. The state agency is funding construction and the county authority is helping fund operations at the apartments.
Strick said the village of Flossmoor “has been wonderful to work with.”
Last May, Flossmoor village board members unanimously approved the apartments by passing an ordinance authorizing a planned unit development and allowing necessary permits to be issued for the complex.
The apartments were originally proposed by New Hope Services, an organization that provided services to people with developmental disabilities starting in 1960.
New Star Services is an outgrowth of two organizations for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, New Hope and SouthSTAR Services, that merged in July 2016. 

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