The Real Deal Chicago

Aldermanic opposition to Lincoln Yards growing over affordable housing plans

Several City Council members said massive project wouldn’t have enough affordable units on site
January 30, 2019 01:00PM

Brian Hopkins, Ameya Pawar, Andy Gloor and a rendering of Lincoln Yards (Credit: Facebook and Sterling Bay)

Several aldermen now say they will oppose Sterling Bay’s Lincoln Yards project because it wouldn’t have enough affordable housing units on site.

The mega development along the North Branch of the Chicago River already has the crucial backing of local Alderman Brian Hopkins (2nd) and received initial approval from the Chicago Plan Commission last week.

But six other aldermen said they will vote against it when it comes before the full City Council because of Sterling Bay’s plans to include only 300 of the required affordable apartments in the development itself — the minimum required under city rules. The remaining 600 affordable units will be developed within three miles of the project, according to Block Club Chicago.

Sterling Bay also plans to pay $39 million into the city’s Low-Income Housing Trust Fund to reduce the total number of affordable units it must provide, according to the city.

Hopkins has said he’s satisfied with the plans for affordable housing in Lincoln Yards. But a group of his colleagues are not, including Alderman Ameya Pawar (47th), who suggested 30-40 percent of the planned 6,000 total units in Lincoln Yards should be affordable.

Pawar said the amount of affordable housing proposed on site is especially unacceptable given the city is proposing a new tax increment financing district for the area around Lincoln Yards. That designation could see some $900 million in infrastructure upgrades related to it. [Block Club]John O’Brien