Sterling Bay trims Lincoln Yards megaproject ahead of key city vote

The developer reduced the total square footage and planned height of buildings as it tries to win approval

Sterling Bay's Andy Gloor holding scissors with a rendering of Lincoln Yards (Credit: Sterling Bay, Pixabay, and Chicago Architecture)
Sterling Bay's Andy Gloor holding scissors with a rendering of Lincoln Yards (Credit: Sterling Bay, Pixabay, and Chicago Architecture)

Sterling Bay again tweaked its plans for Lincoln Yards in another effort to win City Council approval for the megadevelopment.

The project now would have a total of 14.5 million square feet of development, down from 15 million square feet, and buildings would be no taller than 600 feet, down from a proposed maximum of 800 feet, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The changes come just days after Sterling Bay and Alderman Brian Hopkins (2nd) announced an agreement to double the number of affordable housing units within the 54-acre Lincoln Yards site, as the developer and its chief backer on the Council work furiously to win approval for the project before a new city administration takes over.

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The Council’s zoning committee on Thursday is set to consider the plans. If approved, Lincoln Yards could go before the full City Council for final approval as early as next week.

But zoning committee approval is not guaranteed, as opponents of the plan have ramped up calls for the project to be delayed and new committee Chairman James Cappleman (46th) has yet to say whether Sterling Bay’s revisions are enough to win his support. Cappleman had said he would delay the project unless the developer boosted its affordable offerings.

The $6 billion project along the North Branch of the Chicago River would have 6,000 residential units — 600 of them affordable — millions of square feet of office space, parks and more. It would also feature a number infrastructure improvements in the area, to be paid for with proceeds from a tax increment financing district that also needs final city approval. [Chicago Sun-Times] — John O’Brien