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Long Planned Lakefront Tower for Uptown May Finally Rise

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After years of planning, community criticism and TIF funding debates, a luxe high-rise near the lakefront may finally break ground in Uptown. According to DNAinfo, JDL Development struck a deal to move forward with a $200 million-plus high-rise development on the defunct Cuneo Hospital site, last used as the Columbus Maryville Academy Children's Shelter until closing its doors a decade ago. To appease opponents of the plan, the initial layout has been severely scaled back, cutting the umber of units from more than 700 to just 300, while including additional commercial space.

Ever since plans for the mixed-use development were floated in 2012, the high-rise has been mired in disagreements and neighborhood politics. Supporters of affordable housing felt the proposed $1,200 rent was too high, and preservationists balked at bulldozing the Cuneo Memorial Hospital, built by Mies van der Rohe associate Edo Belli in 1957. Residents complained about drawing money from the Montrose/Clarendon TIF District to help a private developer right after a wave of school closings, and even JDL had issues, arguing that the city's TIF subsidy was $20 million less than they needed to move forward, citing the need for financial backing to help secure needed loans to support the project.

But now that JDL has scaled back its ambitions and struck a deal with the property owners, the project seems ready to finally move forward and take shape. DNAinfo cites a source in Alderman Cappleman's office that says the project exists to help provide funding to rehab the Clarendon Park Field House, recently named one of the city's seven most endangered buildings by Preservation Chicago. The next step in the long-running saga may take place April 27th, when the 46th Ward Zoning and Development Committee gets an opportunity to evaluate the updated plans.

·Controversial Luxury Development in Uptown Moving Forward [DNAinfo]
·Updated: Controversial Uptown Project Currently On Hold [Curbed Chicago]
·Previous Uptown coverage [Curbed Chicago]