The controversial Lincoln Yards development in Lincoln Park is estimated to cost $9 billion. In contrast, there’s a massive new development being considered on Lake Shore Drive across the street from Soldier Field that is estimated to cost $19 billion.
But there’s one big difference: The One Central project would transform 34 acres in the South Loop without using tax increment financing, or TIF, funds.
Included in that price tag is a $3.8 billion structure over a transit center that would bring together Metra, Amtrak and CTA trains serving the South Side and south suburbs, as well as a circulator to take people downtown.
The Wisconsin-based developer, Landmark Development, wants to build 10 buildings that would include apartments, hotels, offices, restaurants and shops, along with 15 acres of public space atop the 50-foot-tall transit center platform.
The ambitious project has the backing of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, which says it could bring in $120 billion in taxes and other revenues over 40 years on a property that currently brings in $23,000 in annual property taxes.
CCC commissioned a $60,000 economic impact study of the project by AECOM, and it estimates that it will create 40,000 construction jobs and 210,000 permanent jobs.
But 3rd Ward Ald. Pat Dowell told the Chicago Sun-Times that changes are needed to the height and density of the proposed buildings before she'll sign off on the project.
“The chamber can say what it wants,” Dowell said. “I have to look at it from the point of view of what’s in the best interests of the people that I represent.”
“In order for our business community to attract new talent and new job creators to the area, public transit options must keep up with growing demands,” said Jack Lavin, president & CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, in the report. “The transit-forward focus and regional benefits of One Central really drove my excitement and interest around this development.”
“We need bold and innovative ideas to position Chicago on a global scale,” he continued. “One Central creates a new civic asset that unifies local, regional and national transit systems unlike anything else we have seen in the country. It creates a new gateway to connect Chicago’s central business district, our great civic assets and the South Side and South Suburbs.”
Joining us tonight is Jack Lavin.