Call us : (312) 964-3582

The Community Builders, Inc (TCB) offers Cornerstone Apartments - fourteen units for rent with Artist Preferences in new construction at 613 East 50th Street and 637 East 50th Street, Chicago, Illinois.

TCB is committed to building an intentional community attracting creative individuals from diverse artistic and cultural backgrounds. We encourage all people in the creative arts to apply regardless of race, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual preference, or status with regard to public assistance or physical challenges. We are interested in individuals who are committed to building a creative community and willing to contribute their time and energy toward this goal. The artists will organize and manage common space for music practice, a dance rehearsal space and meeting room.

Learn more about common questions by reviewing our FAQ below:

What is Cornerstone Apartments?

Cornerstone Apartments is a collection of apartments in Bronzeville’s North Washington Park neighborhood, which particularly includes 14 new apartments designed to support working artist households. These new apartments of 613 and 637 at Cornerstone have a minimum of 10-foot ceilings, large windows, utility sinks, and flexible open space, as well as in-unit washers and dryers, luxury vinyl plank floors, back porches and sleek appliances. Common space exclusively available to residents includes:

  • An 18' x 30' performing arts and flex practice room with 13' ceilings, lots of natural light, and wood sprung floors
  • A prefabricated booth for small groups or individuals to practice music
  • A small meeting space

Cornerstone Apartments is surrounded by historic and relatively new arts-related organizations and businesses. Our intent is to help support the community’s continuing commitment to the arts and the artists by providing high-quality housing that fits the needs of artists and their families. Cornerstone Apartments is intentionally quite affordable and will remain that way for the long term, as will its leasing preference for working artists.

Who Manages Cornerstone Apartments?

Cornerstone Apartments is managed by The Community Builders.

Do you have to be an artist to live at Cornerstone Apartments?

Cornerstone Apartments does have income restrictions, so please see the income table below. Anyone who qualifies under those income restrictions may apply, but a leasing preference is provided to applicant heads of households who are working artists. Non-artist family members are welcome. Roommates are welcome, but preferences will be given to roommates where each is a working artist or where a household has a head of household who is a working artist and all other household members are family members.

No income need be derived from an applicant art practice, as many artists also work in other fields to pay the bills.

How do you define "artist"?

We understand that artists work within a wide spectrum of creative pursuits. Consequently, our definition of "artist" broadly includes individuals actively engaged in artistic and literary activities, including: visual arts, theater, multi-media, dance, music, writing, design, and functional art, such as furniture making. During the application process evidence of professional commitment will be requested, which can be done through:

  • A resume and/or portfolio that evidences art education, professional training, exhibitions, performances, samples of work, and any career-related information that demonstrates professional intent
  • Advanced education and/or training or knowledge of art, or
  • Other evidence of the attainment of special artistic skills as a workman or craftsman.

How much is rent?

Rent is subject to change, daily. Contact us for current rental rates. 

1 Bedroom-  Starting at $725                   

2 Bedroom- Starting at $900

3 Bedroom- Starting at $1200

How much is the security deposit?

The security deposit equals one month's rent.

Can I have pets?

Pets are allowed with restrictions. No aggressive or intimidating breeds such as Akita, Alaskan Malumutes, Americana Bulldog, Chow Chow, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Great Dane, Pit Bull, Presa Canarios, Rottweiler, Siberian Husky, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Wolf Hybrid.

Pets - Max 1 allowed, maximum weight 25 lb, rent $20, and deposit $350. Pet deposit is refundable.

What if I use tools and equipment that make noise?

The project has adopted some rules about noise that adhere to the City of Chicago noise ordinance. Quiet time is generally designated between 10pm and 8am Sundays' through Friday mornings and after 11pm Fridays and Saturday nights in any area within 600 feet of a residential district. Neighbors who may have quiet art forms such as writing may ask you to keep noise down when they are working.

Are all art forms allowed at Cornerstone?

Artistic processes that are extremely noisy, require industrial zoning or involve hazardous materials will not be permitted to be conducted in or adjacent to the building. For example, welding, woodworking using power tools, or glass blowing would not be allowed. Amplified musical or dance practice is only allowed in the tenant common space and within the stated rules for those spaces.

How do I apply?

There are three steps to the application process for rental of units at Cornerstone Apartments:        

  1. Initial Application Submitted Online
    In addition to the application, an artist questionnaire is required for each artist within the household. The primary leaseholder must be at least 18 years old.           
  2. Tenant Income Verification
    Upon receipt of a complete application, the property manager will schedule an interview to verify your household’s financial, rental, credit, and criminal history, which will include completing a Tenant Income Certification form. The Property Manager will screen the information that you provide in this interview. The fee for this screening is $25 per adult member of your household (Must be paid with bank check or money order. No personal checks or cash accepted.) However, you will be given the opportunity to address any extenuating circumstances that you believe should be taken into account during this process.                                       
  3. Artist Selection Committee Interview
    After your application has been preliminarily approved, you will be interviewed by the Cornerstone Selection Committee. You will need to present your portfolio and resume at the interview. The committee members will ask you questions about your commitment to the arts and your interest in becoming a resident of Cornerstone. A copy of the Artist Interview Questionnaire is attached. To assist the committee, it also will review and use the enclosed Artistic Application that you will have completed. The Artist Selection Committee screens applicants to determine their participation in, and commitment to, the arts; the committee does not judge the content of an applicant’s artistic work. The Artist Selection Committee is a permitted preference or a permitted screening criteria pursuant to HUD Handbook 4350.3 2-25, which is subject to federal, state or local preferences.
We are currently 100% occupied. Contact us for information on joining our wait list. 

Who is the Cornerstone Selection Committee?

The Cornerstone Selection Committee is drawn from local artists and community organizations as well as 1-2 members of the Property Management team. The process is friendly and informal, but we take it very seriously; we want residents of Cornerstone to be committed artists and good neighbors, and we're sure you'd want this too. The selection committee does not judge the content or quality of an applicant’s artistic work.

What questions will the selection committee ask?

The questions are based on selection criteria and asked of every artist applicant. One is a demonstrated commitment to art. The second is a desire to live in and contribute to a community, both within the building and the broader Bronzeville community.                    

  1. Please describe your art form and what inspires you to create it.  
  2. Please tell us about your educational training and/or professional experience.                
  3. Please describe any recent public presentation of your art.              
  4. What interests you about living in this artists’ community?              
  5. What effect will living in an artists’ community have on you/(your family) and your art?      
  6. How will you respond to living in a community that comprises people of different races, cultural backgrounds, ability, artistic disciplines, sexual orientation, and beliefs?        
  7. What impact do you think you would have on the community? In what way might you contribute to the community?                    
  8. Please describe any volunteer work you have done or would be interested in doing.   

Who can live in Cornerstone Apartments? Are there income restrictions?

Cornerstone Apartments is made possible with financing that encourages affordable housing. As a result, household income limitations do apply. If you intend to qualify for an affordable unit, you will be required to provide financial information evidencing household income.

The applicant must demonstrate a financial ability to pay his/her monthly contribution toward the rent of the unit.

Property Management will verify the amount and source of the applicant's income, assets, and expenses. The credit, criminal and eviction records of the applicant will be obtained through a credit reporting agency with service fees payable by the applicant.

Income Limits: HUD income limits are released yearly. Contact us for information on current limits. 

Is there a waiting list?

If an applicant is preliminarily approved and there are no available units, the applicant will be placed on a waiting list. Two waiting lists will be maintained for the project: one for preference and artist applicants, and the other for non-preference and non-artist applicants. Applicants who complete and return the enclosed materials but who are not contacted for an interview will receive a letter stating that they have been placed on the applicable waiting list and will be informed of their position on such list. Placement on a waiting list will be based on the order in which the completed applications are received by Metroplex management. If there are qualified preference applicants or qualified artist applicants on a waiting list, such persons will be given preference over any qualified non-preference or non-artist applicant. If there are no qualified preference applicants on a waiting list, applications of qualified non-artist applicants will be processed further on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants claiming a preference will be notified if they are placed on the non-preference waiting list.

How does the credit report affect my application?

A. Credit Standing                            

  1. Eligible Cornerstone applicants must have a satisfactory history of meeting financial obligations, including timely payment of rent. Judgments or a history of late payment of bills or rent may be grounds for non-selection. If management rejects an application based on information in the credit report, the applicant will be provided with the reason(s) for the rejection and given the name of the credit reporting agency that performed the credit check.                    
  2. In certain circumstances, management's inability to verify sufficient credit references may be grounds for rejection of an application. Consideration will be given to special circumstances in which credit has not been established for some reason (income, age, marital status, etc.).

B. Information on the Application                                    

  1. If management is unable to verify certain information provided in the application, such as the applicant's current address, Social Security number, or previous landlord information, or other qualifying information the applicant will not be approved.                    
  2. If the application is not fully completed or contains false information, the applicant will not be approved.                                     

C. Personal Reputation or History                                    

  1. Persons who have a history or reputation for disturbance of neighbors, destruction of property or living habits at prior residences which adversely affect the health, safety, welfare, or rights and comfort of other residents will not be approved for occupancy.                    
  2. Persons who have failed to maintain a stable rental pattern may not be approved for residency. Several moves within a short period of time may indicate a lack of rental stability on the part of the applicant.                        

D. Drug Abuse and Criminal Activity                                    

  1. A household in which there is reasonable cause to believe that a member is currently engaged in the illegal use of drugs, and whose illegal use or pattern of illegal use of a drug may interfere with the health, safety, and right to peaceful enjoyment of the properly by other residents will be denied admission.                    
  2. A household in which there is reasonable cause to believe that a member has engaged in criminal activity or has been convicted of criminal activity that will adversely affect the reputation of the development or the health, safety or welfare of other residents within the development, will be denied admission. 

Are units at Cornerstone ADA compliant?

The Cornerstone development will not discriminate against applicants or residents because of their disability or the disability of anyone associated with them and from treating persons with disabilities less favorably than others because of their disability. Also, we will consider reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, dwellings and/or common areas when such accommodations may be necessary to afford person(s) [with disabilities] equal opportunity to use and fully enjoy a dwelling. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Reasonable modifications made to dwellings, units and/or common areas will not be charged to the resident, but will be borne by management.

What documentation is required to submit as an artist?

Each artist member of your household will complete a questionnaire to help us to better understand your needs and expectations with regard to living in an unit. Questions are as follows:

  1. Please write an Artist Statement, briefly describing your art form, how long you have been creating, your inspiration and your goals.
  2. Why are you interested in living in this community? What are your expectations?
  3. Have you ever lived in an artist housing situation before? If so, where and what was your main impression and/or experience?
  4. What is your artist training?