Friday, June 7, 2019

One Central Development Faces Questions & Resistance from Local Politicians and Residents

Third post this week referencing the One Central Development!  Lots of interest in this development since it is rumored to cost $20 billion and could reshape the neighborhood.

The two stories of interest we read yesterday was one from the Chicago Sun-Times where our new mayor took a firm stance with the developers:
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday she essentially read the riot act this week to the Wisconsin developer of One Central, a massive project proposed for just west of Soldier Field.
She’s not happy with the way Landmark Development is running roughshod over elected officials and the neighboring residents they represent.

She doesn’t like the fact that developer Bob Dunn went to Springfield “under cover of darkness” to slip authorization for a $3.8 billion transit hub — a key to the project — into the state capital bill.

That transit hub, built over the rail tracks just west of the football stadium, would serve as the base for a string of up to 10 skyscrapers. But Lightfoot is not at all certain the transit center should be a priority for the city of Chicago, given the city’s other more pressing mass transit needs.

“I don’t like the way that they are conducting themselves. And I made that clear in no uncertain terms,” Lightfoot said of the City Hall meeting Tuesday, where she made an appearance “for about three minutes.”

The other story was in Crain's and takes stock of the community meeting that Alderman Dowell and the developer held on Wednesday night.  It's a good read, but here is our favorite blurb:
Dowell, whose ward includes the development site, hosted an initial community meeting on One Central in March, after Landmark Development unveiled its preliminary plans. Last night’s meeting was touted as the beginning of a community engagement process that will last several months.

“I just want to say again, as I said in the meeting on March 13, this project is in its infancy. It is not a done deal,” Dowell said at the beginning of the meeting, to some applause. “There have been no backdoor deals. My office, nor the office of the city of Chicago, nor CTA, nor Metra have signed off on this project or have given its approval.”

Though the General Assembly recently signed off on a deal that would allow the developer to secure as much as $5.1 billion in equity and financing costs, the Chicago City Council still needs to approve a zoning change for the project.

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