Chicago okays hotly contested Lincoln Yards mega-project

by Andrew Manns | 12 Feb 2019

The City of Chicago's Department of Planning and Development (CPD) has greenlit plans to develop Lincoln Yards – a large-scale project that will see 50 acres of Chicago's waterfront transformed into a new urban attraction.

Led by developers Sterling Bay and designed by practices Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, James Corner Field Operations, and CBT Architects, the US$6bn (€5.3bn, £4.65bn) development, which will occupy the former site of the city's manufacturing district, will connect the Lincoln Park and Bucktown neighbourhoods.

Lincoln Yards will also feature multiple restaurants, retail shops, entertainment outlets, and affordable housing units, as well as 21 acres of open space, including parks, gardens, playing fields and courts, and walking trails.

A 20,000-seat stadium was initially part of the master plan; however, this proposal was scrapped in January after city alderman Brian Hopkins – one of the project's most outspoken backers – withdrew his support.

In its revised master plan, Sterling Bay said that public open space would "be at the heart of the Lincoln Yards neighbourhood".

The company continued: "The open space design pulls inspiration from the site's industrial history while reimagining it for today’s uses and needs.

"Lincoln Yards North will reuse and provide new expression for historic site artefacts throughout the project, but acknowledge the primary opportunity to rediscover the river amidst this post-industrial site."

Since the announcement of the new plan, however, eleven aldermen, some of whom are up for reelection in February, have said they would not vote in favour of granting the project zoning and funding approval.

Negotiations are slated to continue in March when the city council reconvenes.

Lincoln Yards  SOM  CBT Architects  James Corner 
The City of Chicago's Department of Planning and Development (CPD) has greenlit plans to develop Lincoln Yards – a large-scale project that will see 50 acres of Chicago's waterfront transformed into a new urban attraction. Led by developers Sterling Bay and designed by practices Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, James Corner Field Operations, and CBT Architects, the US$6bn (€5.3bn, £4.65bn) development, which will occupy the former site of the city's manufacturing
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The new space will feature 21 acres of regenerated public realm. / Courtesy of CBT Architects
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Chicago okays hotly contested Lincoln Yards mega-project
The City of Chicago's Department of Planning and Development (CPD) has greenlit plans to develop Lincoln Yards – a large-scale project that will see 50 acres of Chicago's waterfront transformed into a new urban attraction.