Lincoln Yards is a $6 billion mixed-use project planned by developer Sterling Bay for 53 acres of mostly vacant land within the North Branch Industrial Corridor in the Lincoln Park and West Town community areas. The project will include up to 14 million square feet of new commercial and residential construction, including up to 6,000 residential units with a 20 percent affordability requirement, 21 acres of public open space, multiple infrastructure and transportation improvements, and more than $120 million in development fees.
Community engagement for the project, including the North Branch Framework process, began in 2016 and continued into 2019. Feedback specific to the Lincoln Yards project was gathered from various community meetings, stakeholder group meetings and block club meetings, as well as more than 2,000 responses to three community surveys.
Zoning for Lincoln Yards was approved by the Chicago Plan Commission in January 2019 and by City Council in March 2019. A Tax Increment Financing district and Redevelopment Agreement (RDA) with Sterling Bay was approved by the Community Development Commission in February 2019 and by City Council in April 2019.
According to the RDA, $490 million in future increment from the Cortland/Chicago River TIF District will reimburse Sterling Bay for the construction of new public infrastructure identified during the community engagement process, including:
- $160 million to build new vehicular bridges at Dominick Street, Armitage Avenue and Concord Place
- $110 million to rebuild the intersection at Elston Avenue and Armitage
- $96 million for new roadways
- $54 million for improvements to existing roadways
- $45 million for riverwall improvements
- $25 million toward the extension of The 606
The developer is also committing approximately $293 million in private funding toward public improvements, including:
- $77 million to finance 21 acres of public open space
- $64 million toward the extension of The 606 trail
- $48 million to fund a public riverwalk
- $46 million for riverwall improvements
- $33 million to finance improvements of existing roads within the development, including portions of Dickens, Wabansia, Magnolia and Ada
- $24 million in environmental remediation and site prep
- $1 million toward water taxi stations
Community Advisory Council
A Lincoln Yards Community Advisory Council announced by Mayor Lightfoot in December 2019 serves as a conduit for community input as construction moves forward over the next three years. The 14-member CAC consists of neighborhood representatives, community leaders, design professionals, and subject-matter experts appointed by Mayor Lightfoot and Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) in consultation with local stakeholders. The group meets quarterly, making advisory recommendations ranging from public infrastructure design to traffic control to open space, among other issues. CAC members include:
- Linda Goodman
- Nick Mulvaney
- Margaret Frisbie
- Phillip Edison
- Jonathan Snyder
- Jacob Peters
- Jacky Grimshaw
- Rosanna Marquez
- Maria Villalobos
- Courtney Kashima
- Ernest Sawyer
- Andrea Craft
- Juanita Irizarry
Sterling Bay hosted an open house in December 2021 for the community to visit the Lincoln Yards Experience Center, and view plans associated with the Lincoln Yards South parcels C1, D1 and the park, all of which were included in the original development plan approved in 2019.
Representatives of Sterling Bay and the Site development team were available during the open house to engage directly with members of the community and answer questions on plans for each parcel. Plan descriptions provided by Sterling Bay are listed below:
This structure, located in Lincoln Yards South’s mixed-use lifestyle district, The Steelyard, will contain approximately 460,000 square feet of office, retail, entertainment venues, amenity space and building services, and is expected to achieve LEED-Silver certification.
This mixed-use building, also located within The Steelyard, will contain approximately 355,000 square feet of residential space, retail, amenity and building services, and is expected to achieve LEED-Silver certification.
The park space located on Lincoln Yards South will provide residents from across Chicago with 6.5 acres of new green space in the North Branch Corridor. Sterling Bay is committed to operating the parks in Lincoln Yards similar to the Chicago Park District, offering on-site fields and recreational spaces for purposes such as organized league play, public free play and special events.
Questions from the public for the Sterling Bay team should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phase one site work for Lincoln Yards is underway. To date, 27,700 tons of contaminated soil has been removed, more than 1,060 cubic yards of lead soil has been remediated, and 36 underground storage tanks have been removed. Additionally, three ballfields known as Fleet Fields opened in July 2019 at 1397 W. Wabansia Ave.
While the design for the new Throop Street Bridge has been completed, the start date for construction remains to be determined. The bridge will provide a new river crossing between Cortland and North avenues, better connecting the transportation network on the North Side and providing more access to the Lincoln Yards site.
The Throop bridge has been designed with all modes of transportation in mind, including vehicular travel lanes, sidewalks, and a two-way separated bike lane, providing a safe crossing for people walking and biking. The bike lane will be protected from traffic by a concrete curb and will extend north of the bridge connecting to the existing bike network at Southport and Armitage avenues, and south of the bridge to Concord Place.
In consultation with the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the CAC, the development team decided to name the bridge for Throop Street instead of the original name, Dominick Street, because Throop is a more recognizable road name in the city's grid network.
Plan Commission Updates
As part of the site plan review process, the Planned Development requires the Lincoln Yards team to provide a courtesy presentations to the Chicago Plan Commission and the public when it proceeds with construction on a new portion of the multi-phase development. Two such updates have taken place:
- January 2022: Update on plans to construct a new publicly accessible six-acre park, a new 15-story office and retail building, and a new 19-story mixed-use residential building on parcels B.1, C.1, and D.1 • Watch on YouTube
- April 2021: Update on plans to construct a 150-foot office building on "G.1," the southeastern-most parcel • Watch on YouTube
Any questions or comments related to the overall Lincoln Yards project or to the Lincoln Yards Advisory Council may be directed to email@example.com.