Related Midwest has signed a deal to develop a vacant 62-acre parcel of land linking Chicago’s South Loop and Chinatown neighborhoods, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on May 12. The sprawling brownfield site, at Roosevelt Road and Clark Street, is the largest area of open land in downtown Chicago after Grant Park. If completed, the development would dramatically alter the city’s southern skyline.
“This will be one of the largest development projects in Chicago’s history, and I look forward to working with our private partners to transform this site and create economic opportunities for residents in every part of Chicago,” Emanuel said.
This isn’t the first attempt to develop the acreage. Under a plan by now-disgraced businessman Antoin “Tony” Rezko, the area would have hosted a shopping mall and 4,600 units of housing, but the site sat empty.
The newly announced multibillion-dollar deal is a joint venture between Related—the company also behind New York’s Hudson Yards development—and a Luxembourg-based company called General Mediterranean Holding, which purchased the property in 2007.
Related Midwest president Curt Bailey told the Chicago Tribune that the project will include a mix of residential and commercial buildings and will take about 15 years to finish. Said Bailey in a statement, “The team is excited to work with the city of Chicago to transform this long dormant site into a great neighborhood to live and work . . . creating what is sure to be a catalyst for economic development, job creation, and, ultimately, a great new community for our city.”
Bailey cautioned that the development is still in its early stages but that the company will work with the city to establish “an achievable timeline.” All proposals will require city council approval. A planning firm has yet to be selected, Related Midwest told RECORD.