City Offers Downtown Site to Developers Through International Competition

April 9, 2020

The City of Chicago today launched its participation in a global competition that is inviting multi-disciplinary teams including architects, developers, environmentalists, and creative minds to collaborate on proposals to revitalize a key, underutilized property in the heart of downtown. 

“The City of Chicago is excited to partner with C40 for this year’s competition, which will shine a light on a key opportunity in the heart of our oldest shopping district for a sustainable, transit-oriented development project,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot.

The 16,000-square-foot site on the northeast corner of Van Buren Street and Plymouth Court is adjacent to multiple rapid-transit lines, the Harold Washington Library Center and Pritzker Park. Consisting of several vacant, City-owned parcels and an underutilized, four-level parking garage, it is being made available for a sustainable redevelopment project that advances the Loop’s growth as a mixed-use neighborhood.

The site is being offered through the Reinventing Cities Competition, organized by C40, a network of global cities focused on taking meaningful action on climate change. The objective of the competition is to generate development projects that foster environmental resilience and sustainability for local communities.

For the 2019 C40 competition, Chicago offered a site at 5th and Kedzie avenues in East Garfield Park. The winning proposal was Garfield Green, a 77-unit, mixed-income and mixed-use development with significant sustainable design elements. The $22.3 million project could break ground later this year.

The city’s participation in the 2020 C40 competition, coordinated by the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), will occur in two phases: an Expression of Interest phase followed by a Request For Proposals (RFP) phase with selected finalists. Each phase will offer additional details on the City’s goals and expectations for proposals, guided in part by community input received through a public meeting and survey of community stakeholders this spring.

Development teams interested in the competition can learn more and find the Expression of Interest form at Selected finalists will be invited to submit responses to the RFP later this year. A winning team is expected to be announced in early 2021.


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