- Chicago officials and residents this week got to see new renderings of developer Sterling Bay's proposed $5 billion Lincoln Yards project, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, a massive mixed-use complex that would be built along the North Branch of the Chicago River.
- Sterling Bay officials told those in attendance at the first public meeting for the 53-acre project that Lincoln Yards would feature 12 million square feet of buildings, including 5,000 new residences, 500 hotel rooms, a 20,000-seat soccer stadium, a possible 800-foot-tall high-rise and more than 13 acres of open space. Developers said the project would create 2,500 construction positions during each of the first 10 years of building.
- Activists from the North Branch Park Preserve were on hand to request that Sterling Bay come up with a plan for Lincoln Yards' green space. Developers reportedly took heat from some in attendance for not holding a public question-and-answer session at the end of the presentation but instead opting for "Q&A stations" where attendees could ask Sterling Bay officials their questions individually, according to the Chicago Tribune. The project is still in the planning stage, with Alderman Brian Hopkins commenting that "it's as far from a done deal as you can get."
Sterling Bay first introduced the project last year as a potential site for Amazon's $5 billion second North American headquarters. Chicago submitted Lincoln Yards as a candidate along with nine other sites. Expected to be one of the big selling points of Lincoln Yards is the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill-designed stadium, which will be home to the city's new United Soccer League franchise as well as to other events.
Amazon selected Chicago as one of 20 finalists for the company's HQ2, and other candidates have offered big financial incentive packages to make their cities more attractive to the internet retailing giant. Chicago, however, has been tight-lipped about what is included in the $2 billion package it has proposed. In February, the nonprofit group Lucy Parsons Lab filed a lawsuit against Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the city in order to force officials to give up details such as the type of taxpayer obligations included in the deal.