After much controversy, the six billion dollar, 50+ acre Lincoln Yards mega development by Sterling Bay has received final approval from City Council. The massive project is in the industrial corridor between Lincoln Park and Bucktown. The development has gone through a grueling approval process. However, it’s not just backlash from a few angry Chicago residents. The lawsuits filed from various agencies and activist groups have proven to be the largest hurdle yet. Critics say that the development caters to a “homogenous” community and not the city as a whole. Additionally, they have said it’s more “suburb within the city,” than “city within the city”. Despite unconvinced individuals, Lincoln Yards will bring exciting new life and opportunity to a large piece of unused land.
Finally, initial ground has been broken on athletic fields and pertinent facilities. Despite their efforts, the approved $900 million in public funding has been the public’s top concern. Developer Sterling Bay projects a 10-year timeline for the completion of their project. 14.5 million square feet of mixed-use real estate will be built with an additional 20+ acres of parkland, new infrastructure, and a new transit center. Once completed, over 23,000 permanent jobs will be created. Also, an extension of the 606 trail, a Riverwalk, concert venue, stadium, athletic fields, and community centers will be developed. Sterling Bay has launched massive clean-up and environmental revitalization efforts in the area. Due to Finkle Steel formerly residing on the land, a considerable amount of work still must be done.
One of the most enticing factors of Lincoln Yards is its unique potential. It will use existing industrial infrastructure to house a vast repurposing for residential and commercial real estate. Lincoln Yards will also serve as a hub for the new era of technology and service-based companies. It will also stimulate the city’s economy by bringing exciting new life to the region as a whole. Ultimately, the mega development proposes to curb the shrinking population of Chicago. As with any other large scale project, there will always be hurdles and objections to overcome. With this in mind, it seems Sterling Bay’s project will move forward and positively impact the lives of Chicagoans.