Thursday, October 19, 2017

Governor Rauner and University of Illinois Proposing "Discovery Partners Institute" on Related Midwest's 62-Acre South Loop Land

The latest and most concrete news on some of the intended plans for Related Midwest 62 acre vacant South Loop lot (via Tribune):
Gov. Bruce Rauner and the University of Illinois are pursuing a sprawling innovation center in the South Loop with two other research universities, but the project’s backers have yet to forge a political consensus and a lack of detail about how it would be funded has created uncertainty about the project.

Rauner is backing the University of Illinois-led Discovery Partners Institute, a public-private facility for conducting specialized research in an array of fields, including computing and big data, food and agriculture, and health and wellness.
Seems like the Tribune is pretty skeptical on this one.

Anyway, another interesting tidbit is that Related is said to be "donating" the South Loop land:
Killeen said the university wants to recruit 90 new faculty members and up to 1,800 students to the center, whose total cost has not been finalized but potentially would attract hundreds of millions in investment. No opening date has been set, but a location has emerged in the South Loop on highly coveted land to be donated by the development company Related Midwest.
We'll be curious to understand what "donating" really means, but regardless it would certainly provide this development with a nice, high-profile anchor that they could build around.

For the broader Sloop neighborhood, this would also add more students to the neighborhood (in our opinion a good thing!).  Cynics will first question how this development - and the density it could bring - would be handled from a traffic standpoint.  Roosevelt road is often a parking lot of traffic and this undoubtedly would make it worse.

With that said, the renderings are drool worthy.  If this materializes how it's drawn up above, it would really make for a new dynamic development in the Sloop.

So Sloopsters - what do you think?

(Hat tip:  AR, CH, GM!)

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