By Louis Ricard
Developer Sterling Bay is working with the City of Chicago to bring a new recreational area in Lincoln Yards, a massive city-within-a-city proposed development
After Alderman Brian Hopkins (2nd) gave his approval earlier this month to the third and latest proposal in his ward, the Chicago Plan Commission voted unanimously in favor of the project Thursday during its monthly meeting. The new project straddles 55 acres of the Chicago River on Chicago near North Side will cost up to $6 billion to develop, helping to reshape the entire area, according to Sterling Bay’s website.
The developer scrapped the original soccer stadium planned in the summer and decided to add more park space, according to an article from the Chicago Sun Times.
But no matter what direction the project takes, the community of Lincoln Yards will be affected, and people have mixed emotions toward it.
Meet the faces behind the Lincoln Yards Project:
The Lincoln Yards Project is in its initial phase with both sides of the Chicago River being surrounded by fences. (Louis Ricard/Medill)
This gas station closed because of the project, and more businesses may face the same fate, according to local residents and business owners. (Louis Ricard/Medill)
The still industrial construction site along the river. The Chicago Plan Commission approved latest project proposal last Thursday. (Louis Ricard/Medill)
The Cortland Bridge might be among the few original landmarks left in the old neighborhood once the project is finalized. (Louis Ricard/ Medill)
Robyn Lalonde is the owner of Edge Athlete Lounge, ‘a cafe, gym and recovery center’ as she describes it. “I think any change is gonna be exciting,” Lalonde said. “I think it’s about growing a stronger neighborhood. It’s just a matter of when that’s happening and at what rate.” (Louis Ricard/Medill Reports)
“Our foot traffic is almost completely gone, so it’s a matter of kinda surviving as a business during this time, heading into what will eventually be built,” Lalonde said. (Louis Ricard/Medill)
Not too far from Lalonde’s shop, John O’Brien owns O’Brien Metal, a digital manufacturing facility.“I’m all for progress, as long as it’s progress done well,”O’Brien said regarding Sterling Bay’s project. (Louis Ricard/Medill)
“Hopefully, it doesn’t impact digital manufacturers like myself,” O’Brien said. “The landlords are trying to kick us out so they can get higher retail rents or things of that nature.” (Louis Ricard/Medill)
“The other (issue) is congestion,”O’Brien said. “It’s already very congested, going over the bridges, North Avenue and everything else,” he said. “They really need .figure that out.” (Louis Ricard/Medill)
Sterling Bay has been working on this project for nearly three years. The $6 billion project will take a decade to be completed according to the developer. (Louis Ricard/Medill)
The next step for Sterling Bay is to get the approval of the Chicago Department of Transportation along with obtaining the various constructions permits for the project.
Photo at top: With the plans for Lincoln Yards, Robyn Lalonde said she’s uncertain about what the future holds. She owns Edge Athlete Lounge, 1747 N. Elston Ave. “We’re kind of at a weird point right now, where a lot of this neighborhood has been purchased
and people have moved out, which means traffic is super light,” she said. (Louis Ricard/Medill)