Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Related Midwest Talks About Grand Vision for 62-Acres South of Roosevelt

We poked some fun at Related Midwest's event to clean up their 62-acre vacant lot last week, but there was some real news coming out of this story.  The Chicago Tribune outlines grand vision for what Related hopes to do with this land:
A year after grabbing control of the largest undeveloped site in downtown Chicago, Related Midwest is thinking big while taking it slow.

Over the next two decades, the developer envisions creating a city within the city on the 62-acre parcel along the Chicago River, south of Roosevelt Road, that eventually will link the South Loop and Chinatown. It is one of the most ambitious developments ever conceived in Chicago.

More than 10 million square feet of residential, office, hotel and retail space could rise on the site, a project likely to cost at least $5 billion — and potentially much more — completed in several phases, Related Midwest President Curt Bailey said.

The west side of the site is likely to include a 100-foot-wide, half-mile-long riverwalk flanked by a row of low-slung restaurants and shops. Also envisioned are public art installations, cultural events and, perhaps, infrastructure including new CTA Red Line and Metra train stations.
While everyone is salivating on what might come, the reality is the entire vision is likely a long ways away.  The project likely won't start until 2019 and it sounds like it could take at least 15 years to fully realize the plans.

There is a lot to read in the article and we highly recommend going over to the Tribune to learn more.

An interesting piece to us was this blurb about what they want to do with the land until it's ready to build:
By next year, when construction of a Wells Street extension from downtown to Chinatown is expected to begin cutting through the site, the developer hopes to bring pop-up food and retail or other events to the site, Bailey said. One idea is to create a variation of London's Pop Brixton shipping container village.

Image from Pop Brixton
"We want to do (the development) right, so we're taking our time planning it," Bailey said. "We're working on creating fun things to do on the site in the interim. Getting people to the site, getting people to understand the site and creating action here is part of our overall plan."
We're not familiar with London's Pop Brixton, but according to their website:
Pop Brixton is a temporary project that has turned disused land into a creative space for local, independent businesses. Come and discover South London’s most exciting start-ups working in food, retail, design and social enterprise.

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