With temperatures expected to reach the mid-80s this weekend, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration took a clout-heavy landlord — a one-time boss to Barack Obama — to court Friday afternoon and got a judge to order air conditioners for all occupied units of a South Side apartment building for low-income seniors.
Cook County Judge Patrice Ball-Reed ordered the air conditioners to be installed within 24 hours at Auburn Commons, 1626 W. 87th Street, a 72-unit building owned by Allison S. Davis, a longtime ally of former Mayor Richard M. Daley who once headed a small Chicago law firm that gave Obama his first job out of Harvard Law School.
The city started getting calls a few days ago saying the building’s central air conditioning was not working, according to Assistant Corporation Counsel Audriana Logan.
On Friday morning, a city inspector found temperatures inside the building as high as 92 degrees, Logan said.
“We have to protect our residents, especially our senior citizens,” Logan said. “We have to stand up for them. A lot of them don’t stand up for themselves.”
The five-story building was constructed in 2003 for $10.5 million to serve seniors who live at 30%-60% of the area’s median income, according to an archived web page of one of Davis’s companies. The construction relied heavily on public financing.
Reached by phone, Davis told WBEZ that “the issue has been addressed.”
“That’s all I’m going to say,” Davis said, hanging up abruptly.