Epic Chicago development along Lake Michigan stalls as partners split

Development Midwest News Newsletter
Lakeside (SOM)

The massive Lakeside development was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill in conjunction with Sasaki Associates and Antunovich Associates (Courtesy SOM)

As developer and property owner part ways, one of Chicago’s largest planned developments gets put on indefinite hold.

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The South Shore site was once the South Works steel mill for U.S. Steel. (Courtesy Lakeside Development)

The Lakeside development, planned for the former South Works United States Steel mill site in Chicago’s South Shore, was to be a $4 billion, 369-acre mixed-use development. Twelve years in the making, the projects was being developed through a partnership between Chicago-based developer McCaffery Interests and the land’s owner Pittsburgh-based United States Steel. Plans called for upwards of 13,000 residential units, over 17 million square feet of commercial space, 125 acres of public land, and a 1,500-slip marina.

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The master plan integrated over 1000 boat slips along Lake Michigan. (Courtesy Lakeside Development)

Situated in the formerly industrial area along the lake, tens of millions of dollars have already been invested in the project, including rerouting a public road. Though the Illinois Department of Transportation planned to reroute the road before McCaffery first presented the Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) Master plan in 2004, when built, the $64 million improvement anticipated the development. The road includes parallel parking spots surfaced in permeable pavement, high-efficiency LED streetlights, and bike lanes. Both Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel were on hand for the much anticipated ribbon cutting for that new road back in 2014.

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The road finished in 2014 for the development includes all the amenities needed for a dense neighborhood. (Courtesy Lakeside Development)

With no development, that road will continue to sit mostly empty. But now with the land’s future in limbo, local 10th Ward Ald. Susan Sadlowski-Garza and McCaffery are hoping entice George Lucas to move the much embattled Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts to the site. Ald. Sadlowski-Garza and McCaffery also had lobbied to have the Obama Presidential Library located on the site.

Though the project is stalled for the moment, even if it was to move forward, it would be a long time in the making. According to earlier press releases, the plan called for at least six phases and between 25–45 years to finish.

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