Rapper Lil Durk is willing to spend as much as necessary to purchase Chicago’s Parkway Gardens, the housing complex where he once lived. The artist made his intentions clear on Thursday when he responded to a Twitter user who announced the property was for sale.
"I'll buy it don't matter how much it is," Lil Durk said about the Parkway Gardens, also known as the O Block.
Chicago’s Parkway Gardens aka OBlock Listed For Sale pic.twitter.com/Ut1RLC6DQz— Kollege Kidd (@KollegeKidd) April 30, 2021
The housing complex, which includes 694 apartments across nearly three dozen buildings, stretches over two blocks, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The Parkway Gardens, regarded as one of the biggest affordable housing complexes in the city, is attractive to some buyers because it features a contract with federal housing authorities, ensuring subsidized rent for years to come.
But gun violence has also troubled the area. In addition, tenants have complained about the property's management.
“There’s 3,000 people who live here, most living on about $16,000 a year, many of those people with families, and there’s no social service entity to provide any support,” said Jennifer Maddox, a Chicago police officer who uses a basement in a Parkway Gardens building to run a nonprofit offering after-school programs.
Maddox adds that many residents have lacked basic services and suffered while waiting weeks or months for repairs.
“The residents deserve better. And the violence on the property overshadows the good things and the residents who are working hard and doing the things they need to do. So it’s frustrating for them because they get a bad rap just for living over here,” she said.
Related Midwest, the real estate and development company which put the property up for sale, has not confirmed the asking price for the housing complex. The company acquired the Parkway Gardens in 2011 with a deal that included $59.5 million in tax-exempt bonds from the Illinois Housing Development Authority, as well as $28.8 million in Wells Fargo equity from low-income housing tax credits and $9.9 million in historic rehabilitation tax credits.
“During our time managing Parkway Gardens, we are grateful to have been able to provide fundamental upgrades while also partnering with community organizations to bring new programs and services to residents," a spokesperson for Related said in a statement. "We are actively seeking new leadership who will build upon our efforts and continue maintaining the property as affordable housing for years to come.”
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Parkway Gardens was once the home of former first lady Michelle Obama. That was before the property transformed into 694 units of affordable housing with federally subsidized rents.
Lil Durk's late friend and and labelmate, King Von, also lived in the building, Yahoo reported. Von referenced the O Block in songs such as “Crazy Story” and “Took Her to the O.”
Meanwhile, Durk has been flourishing in his career. His latest studio album, The Voice, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The artist has also recently appeared on songs by Megan Thee Stallion, Pooh Shiesty, Chris Brown and Young Thug.