The Real Deal Chicago

Sterling Bay’s tweak for Lincoln Yards: shorter towers, more green space

The developer is making changes to the massive project, seeking to win approval
November 27, 2018 01:05PM

Sterling Bay’s Andy Gloor and a rendering of of Lincoln Yards (Credit: Sterling Bay)


Sterling Bay has tweaked its plans for its proposed Lincoln Yards mega-development, reducing the maximum height of buildings by about 150 feet and increasing the amount of green space by 50 percent.

The changes come ahead of a Thursday night meeting in which the Chicago developer will again pitch the $5 billion project, at the behest of Alderman Brian Hopkins (2nd), according to the Chicago Tribune.

In July, Sterling Bay first went before the public with its plans for the 70-acre development site that straddles the North Branch of the Chicago River. In the months since it has met with a number of community groups in hopes of winning their approval.

At that initial presentation, Sterling Bay proposed buildings as tall as 800 feet. But the revised plan calls for the tallest buildings to be about 650 feet tall, or about 50 stories.

It also now plans to include some 21 acres of open space in the development, up from a little more than 13 acres it originally proposed. Sterling Bay said about a third of the land in the development now would be open space, a major factor for community groups and public officials.

Overall, the project calls for 4,000 to 5,000 residential units, along with office buildings, retail space, hotels and sports and entertainment facilities — including a 20,000-seat soccer stadium.

Hopkins so far has not formally endorsed the plan, and has bristled at Sterling Bay’s efforts to move the project forward, including its decision to file formal zoning plans without first receiving his approval.

City planners, meanwhile, want to create a tax increment financing district in a 168-acre zone surrounding the Lincoln Yards site to help pay for infrastructure improvements, another key community concern with the development. [Chicago Tribune]John O’Brien