The latest on Lincoln Yards

Screenshot 2018-10-22 09.05.21.png

Since I have worked in Chicagoland real estate for so long, every once in a while I am asked to serve on real estate-minded community committees. It is always such an honor! By far the most exciting project I am currently a part of is Alderman Brian Hopkins’ Lincoln Yards advisory committee. As you probably know, Lincoln Yards is Sterling Bay’s projected $5 billion development that if approved will run along the river between Lincoln Park and Bucktown.

The vision for the project was initially unveiled at a public meeting on July 18, with high level improvements including new office and retail space, green spaces, extending the 606 Trail, reinvigorating the riverfront, and new transportation (most notably, redoing and relocating the Clybourn Metra station).

After the initial reveal, the general public sentiment around the pros and cons of the projected 53-acre project were clear. On the plus side, residents are rallying around the positive momentum. The need to transition the industrial nature of the corridor into something more sustainable for young families is apparent. And what Lincoln Yards will do well is create an economic hub with clean jobs, improve property values, and provide opportunities for Chicagoans.

However, with the improved access to opportunity and green space comes the potential for traffic and congestion—at least this is what many critics believe since projections assume thousands of new residents and day workers.

According to my friend Christian Ficara, a spokesman for Alderman Brian Hopkins’ office, Sterling Bay and the Alderman’s office are in the process of taking in community feedback, and the developer is making appropriate adjustments to the plan.

“This proposal is massive in scale, and nothing is being rushed. We have one shot at this, and we want to get it right. It's going to take as long as it's going to take to make sure the community feels like they are getting something out of this. We have a long way to go, and are optimistic that we are going to eventually find consensus on a viable project,” Christian told me.

Christian also noted that while the Alderman’s office is open-minded on development, but are focused on finding the right development in this case, and it is too soon to tell if this is the right one.

Sterling Bay is currently in the process of acquiring and incorporating feedback into the revised version of their proposal—going block-by-block to speak with neighbors, and meeting with civic organizations. I actually held a coffee at my home to discuss plans with the rest of my committee members, Alderman Hopkins, and Sterling Bay back in July.

Christian anticipates Sterling Bay will introduce their revised proposal in November. I will keep you posted here as I learn more about this or any other exciting developments throughout the city.