Chicago Council Approves 2 Massive Projects - Lincoln Yards & The 78

lincoln yards

The Chicago City Council has approved the tax increment financing plan that will allow Sterling Bay's $6 billion mixed-use development to go forward but the developer will have to make additional changes.  Lincoln Yards stands to gain $900 million from this financing plan per Construction Dive.

The original plan called for Sterling Bay to hire 26 per cent minority and 6 per cent women-owned contractors for this project, but Mayor Elect Lori Lightfoot, raised those numbers to 30 per cent and 10 per cent on the day before the Council voted. The same agreement applies to Related Midwest's $7 billion The 78 mixed-use development, which also won approval and will see about $700 million in the tax financing plan.

2nd Ward Alderman, Brian Hopkins, stated that money from the Lincoln Yards tax increment financing plan will only be spent on infrastructure and no funding will be diverted from current government sources. The community would benefit from the project in terms of economic development and job creation.

After the original plan was rejected by Hopkins, Sterling Bay made some major changes to the Lincoln Yards project. 42nd Ward Brendan O'Reilly had rejected Related Midwest's original proposal for a dual tower highrise on the Chicago waterfront. That project was to include more than 800 for-rent and for-sale residential units as well as 175 hotel rooms, but was rejected because O'Reilly wanted height and density reductions and also a redesign of entrances and other public features.


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The 2nd Ward's residents made it very clear that they did not want the traffic, congestion and chaos that a planned Live Nation entertainment complex and soccer stadium would bring so Sterling Bay took off those elements from the Lincoln Yards design.  It also increased the property's proposed park space to 40% of the project, lowered the density and building height and added more infrastructure improvements.

Related midwest

The 78 mixed use project will now include residential, retail, office and public space, as well as entertainment venues and public recreation facilities along the Chicago River.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, Sterling Bay will be reimbursed for infrastructure improvements as projects are completed and certified by the city. The developer can borrow $533.7 million initially. Only after certain requirements are met can the developer borrow against the remaining $487 million. 

At The 78, the structure is similar and of the $700 million, Related Midwest is authorized to borrow against $551 million now and the rest will be contingent on infrastructure completion.

The first round of Lincoln Yards improvements will include the following:

 - The realignment of Elston Avenue and viaduct

 - The Armitage Avenue extension and bridge

 - The Armitage viaduct

 - Improvements to Cortland, Kingsbury, Willow and Dominick Streets

 - Improvements to Southport and Wabansia Avenues

 - A pair of sea wall improvements along the Chicago River

 - Pedestrian bike and trail landscaping along the wildly popular 606 trail

Per BisNow, Alderman Brian Hopkins stated that he is satisfied with the outcome, and pointed out that the neighborhood is on a path to finally address some of the most pressing infrastructure needs and took action to reinvigorate an area that had been a blight on the community for years.

See DataBid Blog titled: Sterling Bay Submits New Proposal for Lincoln Yards


DataBid is currently reporting on these projects:

Lincoln Yards Mega Development North Branch - Chicago (0084071918)

The 78 Mixed Use Development South Loop - Chicago (0058052516) 


 Looking for Details on all Current Mixed-use Projects in the Chicago Market?



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Posted by Judy Lamelza

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