Emanuel doesn’t get behind controversial Northwest Side apartment complex

Mayor Rahm Emanuel declined Wednesday to throw his weight behind a controversial Northwest Side apartment complex that has drawn angry crowds of opponents to City Hall meetings.

The proposed Jefferson Park building would contain the kind of affordable housing for military veterans Emanuel has championed, and the mayor was asked about it after joining with aldermen and veterans to make a pre-Memorial Day announcement of a citywide drive to collect household items for vets.

Instead of saying directly whether he backs the development, Emanuel spoke about the need for a lengthy process to build community support for such projects.

He sought to draw a distinction between the way Ald. John Arena, 45th, has handled planning for the Jefferson Park building and the way his administration took input for a proposed library with subsidized housing above it being designed in the Northwest Side Independence Park neighborhood.

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