Case closed: CA Ventures’ resi complex project nixed amid security concern from courthouse

The $141M mixed-use project that the developer was leading would have brought 430 units of housing to a struggling area

TRD CHICAGO /
Dec.December 17, 2019 12:00 PM
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, CA Ventures CEO Thomas Scott and a rendering of the redevelopment (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, CA Ventures CEO Thomas Scott and a rendering of the redevelopment (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

CA Ventures’ plan for a 430-unit residential project in Downtown has been abandoned amid security concerns from a federal courthouse next door.

The developer’s $141 million project was contingent on the city acquiring property from the federal government. But Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that would not happen, citing issues raised by federal judges, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The redevelopment was going to target the west side of South State Street between Adams Street and Jackson Boulevard, where multiple buildings — owned by the federal government — sit vacant.

CA Ventures was leading the mixed-use project, which would have brought 159 apartments and 270 microunits with 25,000 square feet of retail space. Proponents said it would breathe life back into a part of the city that has struggled for years.

“The redevelopment of this section of State Street will ensure its future will be even brighter than its storied past,” then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement when the project was announced.

But concerns came from federal judges who work in the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse next to the redevelopment site, at 219 S. Dearborn Street. A rooftop deck included in the plans for the redevelopment would have allowed a direct line of sight into the courthouse, compromising cases and discussions held there, opponents said.

Lightfoot, in a letter to the General Services Administration, officially announced the city was withdrawing its offer to purchase the buildings, “as well as its support for any sale or redevelopment that does not satisfy the security concern.”

Developer Keith Giles, who was also involved in the project through his firm, K Giles, said he was disappointed.

“We had an appropriate plan for the buildings, and we were in the process of getting approval for historic tax credits,” Giles said, according to the report. [Tribune] — Jacqueline Flynn


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