McCaffery Interests and The Community Builders cleared a major hurdle in their effort to redevelop the former Harold I. Ickes public housing complex on the Near South Side.
The Chicago Plan Commission Thursday morning gave the initial approval for the two firms’ massive redevelopment of the 20-acre site, with plans for as many as 972 apartments, 60,000 square feet of retail space, sports fields, a running track and pedestrian plazas.
A $90 million first phase of the project would include two six-story apartment buildings with as many as 200 units at 23rd Place and State Street, according to the developers. If the project receives final approval from the City Council, the initial phase could be completed by 2021, the developers said.
The Ickes housing complex sat on the property bounded by Cermak Road, the Stevenson Expressway, State and Federal streets. It was demolished by 2011 as part of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Plan for Transformation for the Chicago Housing Authority.
Chicago-based McCaffery and Boston-based Community Builders were selected by the city in 2015 to develop the site. They have named the project Southbridge.
Because of its status as a former public housing complex, the developers have partnered with the Chicago Housing Authority to help make 50 percent of the development’s units at affordable rates.
The Southbridge project is not far from where three developers plan separate projects that would add tens of thousands of residential units and millions of square feet of office space along the South Branch of the Chicago River: Related Midwest’s The 78, Lendlease’s Southbank and CMK Companies’ Riverline.