Cappleman says not so fast on Sterling Bay’s Lincoln Yards plans

The North Side alderman inherited key Zoning Committee chairman’s job after scandal engulfed colleague Danny Solis

Alderman James Cappleman and a rendering of Lincoln Yards (Credit: Wikipedia and Lincoln Yards)
Alderman James Cappleman and a rendering of Lincoln Yards (Credit: Wikipedia and Lincoln Yards)

One day after scandal-plagued Alderman Danny Solis resigned as chairman of the City Council’s Zoning Committee, his replacement took aim at Sterling Bay’s plans for the Lincoln Yards mega development.

Alderman James Cappleman (46th) now holds the key development gatekeeper post, and on Wednesday he said Lincoln Yards needs more on-site affordable housing and more community scrutiny, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Sterling Bay wants to include 300 affordable units among the 6,000 new residences in the $6 billion Lincoln Yards — the minimum number of affordable units required under city rules. It would develop another 600 affordable units within three miles of the project, and pay $39 million to the city to avoid building another 300.

With Solis’ troubles taking him out of the equation, Cappleman holds the power to determine when the City Council will begin considering the Lincoln Yards plan. The Chicago Plan Commission already gave the project its initial approval, and local Alderman Brian Hopkins (2nd) backs the project, support that’s crucial under the unwritten rule of aldermanic privilege.

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Cappleman said the community needs a chance to review the latest plans for the project before his committee considers it. And he said Sterling Bay will need to boost the development’s affordable housing component in order to win his support. [Chicago Sun-Times] — John O’Brien