Despite the ongoing economic struggle, news relating to one of Chicago’s largest re-development projects in history seems to be on the upside. The proposed $4 billion dollar plan will transform the long-vacant, 600-acre U.S. Steel site, lying 10 miles south of downtown Chicago, into the equivalent of a whole new city that is designed to reinvent a once-thriving industrial district.
Dubbed “Chicago Lakeside,” approximately 13,575 new homes, 17,500,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, a 1,500 slip marina, and various other state-of-the-art living amenities are slated for the project, with some reports estimating construction to last anywhere from 25-40 years.
Perhaps the most vital aspect to Chicago Lakeside’s sustained success, however, is engineering efficient and effective transportation options throughout the entire newly developed community. While most of the public transportation arrangements, such as brand new Metra railways, additional CTA bus lines and even a renovation to the nearby Gary Airport, are still in the development stage, the project’s main development team from McCaffery Interests and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill announced this week that construction for the Lake Shore Drive extension should being later this month; a key first-step toward allowing vehicles to easily access the enormous construction site.
Phase I of Chicago Lakeside is expected to include The Market Common, a mixed-use commercial and retail borough, along with 250 rental apartments, 136 town homes, and 3 lakefront residential towers. In addition, future-phase development possibilities range from a new high school and research center to the Obama Presidential Library on the community’s south side. Although some accounts have infrastructure construction beginning as soon as late-2012, Nasutsa Mabwa of McCaffery Interests also disclosed at this week’s development presentation that the team will likely shoot for a 2014 start.
Joe Heath is a graduate of Indiana University and possesses a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development from Drexel University. After working in the market research sector and authoring published Market Snapshots for Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, Joe now works as a Web Marketing Specialist and co-owns Real Estate Web Creation with his partner, Ted Guarnero, a 25+ year real estate veteran.