Chicago developer announces $5bn Lincoln Yards development

Seventy-storey skyscrapers are part of the mix for a $5bn plan to develop a 28ha stretch of former industrial land in the north of central Chicago.

The plans for the Lincoln Yards project were announced yesterday by Sterling Bay. They will involve the building of 5,000 homes along the Chicago river between Lincoln Park and Bucktown, on land formerly occupied by the Finkl & Sons steel plant and other industrial businesses.

Andy Gloor, Sterling Bay’s managing principal, commented: "Lincoln Yards is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform a former industrial site into a vibrant community that will finally connect Bucktown and Wicker Park to Lincoln Park and activate our extraordinary riverfront."

The development aims to make the most of the Chicago River

The masterplan, designed by local firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, will take about 10 years to build and will include about 1.1 million sq m of buildings divided half and half between residential and commercial.

Apart from the apartments and condominiums, the development will include up to 500 hotel rooms and the usual range of retail and leisure amenities.

Of the first stage is to develop a 21ha area, of which 5.4ha will be dedicated to parks, plazas and a pedestrian path along the river. The firm also said it will assign 1.5ha to the city for public roads.

Part of the development will be given over to sports like football (soccer)

The plan will also have to solve a number of problems with the city’s surrounding infrastructure, notably roads and schools, which may not have the capacity to deal with the influx of homes and businesses. Stirling Bay has said it expects about $1bn of extra infrastructure will be needed.

The developer said it plans to introduce the development to the Chicago city council at its 25 July meeting.

Top image: It’s always sunny in Chicago: The SOM masterplan

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