Monday, May 14, 2018

Talk to Us in 20 Years: How the new "78" development Could Change the Sloop

It's been a couple days since Related unveiled their plans for "The 78" - the new development planned for the huge 62-acre lot south of Roosevelt road and next to the river.

As expected, there is a ton of information to digest about the project and frankly it will be interesting to see what comes to be.  Bisnow hits on some of the key components, the price tag and also how long this could take:
A 100-foot-wide riverwalk lined with restaurants. Pedestrian and bike paths connecting the South Loop to Chinatown. A tech incubator. Skyscrapers as tall as 950 feet. These are only a few of the plans Related Midwest has for The 78, its 62-acre South Loop site.

Related Midwest unveiled its master plan for The 78 at a public meeting Thursday night. The developer expects to spend up to 20 years and $5B redeveloping the site overlooking the Chicago River. Related Midwest President Curt Bailey said the development will draw from Chicago's history, culture and soul, and serve as a connection between the South Loop, Chinatown, Pilsen and Bronzeville.

A lot can change in 20 years, so while this looks amazing, chances of it living up to this vision seems remote.  The one thing that could accelerate all of this is if Amazon decides to choose Chicago and this site for their second headquarters.  Related's event didn't seem to shed much new news on the topic (via Curbed):
“The request for proposal calls for 8 million square feet. Our site has 13 million square feet so you do the math,” said Related Midwest president Curt Bailey when asked about Amazon at Thursday’s meeting. “But it’s an opaque process. I know as much as you know—which is basically what I read in the papers.”
One of the most interesting items in the release was the desire to add a redline stop to 15th and clark (via Chicago Tribune):
Related also is studying the feasibility and potential funding for a new CTA Red Line station at the intersection of Clark Street and an extended 15th Street, Bailey said.
In terms of when this could get started at this site, things appear to be a little uncertain.  From the articles we read, it seems like they're waiting on the city (via Chicago Tribune):
Because of road work on Wells, Related will likely wait at least 18 months before starting construction, Bailey said. Related also plans to move existing Metra train tracks west of Clark Street, which would become more pedestrian-friendly and would be lined with tall towers.
We are eager to see what transpires here...but patience will have to be key with this one.

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