Chicago approves $2.5B mixed-use riverfront redevelopment
- The Chicago Plan Commission gave approval for the $2.5 billion redevelopment of a 30-acre parcel in the city's River District, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The site is currently home to a printing facility owned by Tribune Media, the developer of the planned mixed-use project, according to The Real Deal. The project is among the sites Chicago submitted to Amazon in a bid for its $5 billion second North American headquarters.
- The development could bring up to 14 mixed-use buildings and 5,900 residential units, along with retail, offices and 13 acres of public space, to the North Branch Corridor. New construction would total 9 million square feet, and buildings would not exceed 650 feet in height. The developer also is planning a public promenade along the length of the property's waterfront.
- The first phase of construction — four residential buildings — should start in early 2020. The developer will build with a higher-than-normal floor-area ratio due to city density bonuses, and the price of at least 20% of the dwellings will be set at below-market rates.
There's no indication that an Amazon snub will alter Tribune Media's plans to redevelop the property, a sentiment that is shared by other developers around the country that plan to move forward with megaprojects no matter which city Amazon picks in its upcoming decision, which is anticipated to come by the end of this year.
Another Chicago project that could be in the running for Amazon's HQ2 is Sterling Bay's $5 billion Lincoln Yards development, which is also along the North Branch of the Chicago River. That project is slated for 12 million square feet of buildings, including 5,000 residences, 500 hotel rooms, a 20,000-seat soccer stadium, more than 13 acres of open, public space and potentially an 800-foot-tall high-rise. Developers said the project would create 2,500 construction positions during each of the first 10 years of construction.
Last year, it was reported that CIM Group's 27-acre downtown Atlanta development in its Gulch area was being tailored for Amazon, but the Georgia governor's office told the Atlanta Business Chronicle that CIM and the city were in talks with a Fortune 500 company interested in taking residence there. The project is eligible for $1 billion to $2 billion of public financing, depending on how much development CIM can advance on the site.
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