The Real Deal Chicago

Could Alderman Solis’ corruption scandal derail Related’s The 78 megaproject?

A call for city to investigate the $7B development plan came from a candidate vying to replace the embattled official
February 04, 2019 01:05PM

Alderman Danny Solis and Alex Acevedo with The 78 (Credit: Facebook)

A candidate vying to replace Alderman Danny Solis said the city should tap the brakes on Related Midwest’s $7 billion megaproject following an ongoing federal corruption probe.

Alex Acevedo called for the city inspector general to look into any role Solis may have had in fast-tracking The 78 project in the South Loop, which could bring up to 10,000 new homes. Acevedo made the request while acknowledging he was not aware of any impropriety by Related or Solis regarding The 78, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Chicago Plan Commission gave the massive project a key initial approval in November, and on Tuesday it is set to go before the Community Development Commission. That agency was also set to consider a tax increment financing district for the area around the the development, which could generate some $700 million for infrastructure improvements.

The 78 site sits within Solis’ 25th ward, and as chairman of the City Council’s Zoning Committee he backed the ambitious development. Solis resigned from the chairman’s post last week amid growing controversy over the corruption investigation in City Hall.

Documents show Solis was under federal investigation since 2014, and that he wore a wire to record colleague Alderman Ed Burke (14th), who’s now facing attempted extortion charges. [Chicago Sun-Times]John O’Brien