- Landmark Development expressed confidence this week in moving forward with its proposed $20 billion One Central megaproject near Soldier Field, despite the ongoing pandemic, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
- Bob Dunn, president of the developer, cited an agreement with Metra Electric — a commuter rail system in Chicago — to work above, below and around tracks in the area without disrupting commuter operations as reasoning for the confidence.
- One Central would see the construction of over 9,000 residences, a hotel and office space over the Metra tracks.
In addition to the multifamily aspect of the project, One Central would include 1.5 million square feet of retail, dining and entertainment amenities and create 19,000 construction jobs, according to the project’s website. The project would be built over the Metra tracks west of Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears.
As part of the agreement, Metra would receive a new maintenance yard and a replacement of its 18th street station. Landmark Development would take the financial risk to build a $3.8 billion transit connection for the Chicago Transit Authority and Amtrak that the state would eventually buy, according to the Sun-Times. Construction will likely include a CTA station at One Central but discussions are still in the early stage.
One Central’s long schedule and design requires the transit and civic improvements to come first, Dunn told the Sun-Times, and that there will be multiple economic changes over the long life of the project.
Additionally, Dunn said market analysis shows many economic impacts of COVID-19 will be short term. Before any construction on the high-rise aspects of the development can start, the developer said the transit piece must be delivered, which he hopes will happen in 2025.
Metra also released a statement that confirmed “an initial memorandum of understanding” with Landmark, but added, “While Metra is excited by the potential benefits of this development, we have taken no position on Landmark’s specific ridership, tax revenue and economic impact projections,” according to the Sun-Times.