Alderman brings affordable housing battle to Fulton Market retail

Alderman Walter Burnett wants Sterling Bay to lower rents for retail tenants in two of its proposed Fulton Market office buildings

Jul.July 18, 2019 01:30 PM
Alderman Walter Burnett (27th) (right) and Sterling Bay Managing Principal Andy Gloor with 1000 West Carroll Avenue (Credit: Google Maps, Twitter, and Sterling Bay)

Alderman Walter Burnett (27th) (right) and Sterling Bay Managing Principal Andy Gloor with 1000 West Carroll Avenue (Credit: Google Maps, Twitter, and Sterling Bay)

As advocates and developers grapple with the affordable housing shortage citywide, one alderman is now bringing the affordability issue to the retail market.

Alderman Walter Burnett (27th) wants Sterling Bay to offer affordable rents in the retail spaces in two new office buildings it’s proposing in Fulton Market, according to Block Club Chicago.

“As you know, a lot of small businesses in the community are being priced out of the neighborhood, which is very unfortunate,” Burnett said. “A lot of our longtime restaurants can’t afford to be here. The landlords are trying to get the highest rent.”

Burnett made the comments at a community meeting this week over the prolific Fulton Market developer’s plans for an 18-story building at 1000 West Carroll Avenue and a 11-story building at 345 North Morgan Street.

Burnett went on to say that if the buildings were multifamily projects, they’d be subject to minimum affordable housing requirements. He said commercial buildings should be no different, according to Block Club.

Sterling Bay attorney Fred Krol said the firm would consider the request.

Developers have bristled for years over the city’s affordable housing requirements, and an analysis by The Real Deal showed the number of projects in the works has declined in several areas since the city started requiring more affordable units in new development there. [Block Club] — John O’Brien

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