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Development Watch

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Just this morning, it seemed as if UIC Newman Center's Catholic dorm plans were still up in the air. A few hours later, Gazette Chicago wants you to know it's very likely to happen, and soon. The plan's chief representative and cheerleader Rev. Patrick Marshall is armed with a neighborhood petition expressing overwhelming support for a 5-story 250-bed transformation of an abandoned church at 1352 S. Union Street. He plans to shop it before local aldermen, who already possess renderings of the dramatically scaled-down proposal. If you'll recall, the earlier 17-story, 500-bed pitch ran into some stiff NIMBYism last year that ultimately scuttled big ambitions for the site. This time around, it's decidedly harder to make a case against it on the basis of traffic, noise, or scale. Besides, there's already 1,500 dorm rooms within a two-block radius, and a case can be made that proximity to UIC raises home values. [Gazette, previously]