Lincoln Yards, Chicago’s most recently proposed billion dollar mega-development, has run into more than a few issues since getting proposed.
From Mayor Lori Lightfoot disagreeing with production guidelines to meeting minimum state law, progress of the massive development has slowed down. Although this project will provide several positions and likely boost the economy, it has also come with its fair share of criticism.
Critics have contended that large-scale projects like Lincoln Yards don’t meet the “but-for test”. However, the city can’t just declare an area a TIF district, it needs to meet standards set by state law.
When completed, the 14.5 million square foot space will reportedly bring 23,000 full-time jobs, 6,000 residential units, as well as 21 acres of park space.
Ultimately, Mayor Lightfoot argues that this project is not beneficial for the community as a whole and only appeals to a smaller percentage of Chicago residents.
Meanwhile, proponents of the development were rushing to approve a $1.3 billion tax subsidy in April before opponents halted production.
As a group, the improved parcels—land with buildings on them—must meet at least 5 out of 13 standards to be considered blighted, as reported by Curbed.
After much controversy and debate, Lincoln Yards has received final approval. The development company behind the immense operation, Sterling Bay, projects a 10-year timeline for the completion of their project.
Lincoln Yards will use the existing industrial infrastructure to house a repurposing for residential and commercial real estate.
Press materials state that the mission of Lincoln Yards is “bringing new and improved infrastructure and transportation, businesses and residences, parks and open spaces, and other amenities to create a vibrant, mixed-use community.”
Reports indicate that additional money generated by rising property values won’t go towards school or the city—the money that’s generated is expected to cover the cost of five new bridges, a riverwalk, and the realignment of an intersection.