Fulton Market success could spread west under proposed zoning change

The city is proposing opening up an area west of Ogden Avenue to more types of projects

(Credit: Fulton Market Innovation District (FMID) plan)
(Credit: Fulton Market Innovation District (FMID) plan)

Fulton Market has been one of Chicago’s biggest success stories in recent years, drawing in people with new apartments, offices, restaurants and shops.

Now, city officials are proposing a zoning change that could open up an area west of Fulton Market to more development. The plan for the eastern edge of the Kinzie Industrial Corridor would open an area between Ogden and Ashland avenues to office, retail, restaurants and other uses that current zoning rules prohibit, according to Crain’s.

The rest of the corridor, which runs west between Lake Street and Grand Avenue, would remain a planned manufacturing district, preventing the kind of transformation seen in Fulton Market.

Under the newly proposed rules, office developments of all sizes would be allowed in the area east of Ashland, though there would still be limits on their floor-area ratios. Also allowed would be restaurants and bars as big as 8,000 square feet and retail spaces up to 3,000 square feet without the requirement they make their products on-site.

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Even without the changes, developers have started to turn their attention to the areas west of Fulton Market, including the area that would not see any zoning changes.

Peppercorn Capital, for instance, is building a $91 million spec property more than a half-mile west of the Ashland boundary, where owner Phil Denny envisions a number of microbreweries and/or food-production tenants under one roof. That use that would comply with existing zoning.

And Dayton Street Partners recently bought an industrial building at 2501 West Fulton Street, with plans to maintain it as a warehouse.

[Crain’s] — John O’Brien