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What Will the Cabrini-Green of the Future Look Like?

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Photo by Nick Fochtman for Curbed Chicago

Chicago is now officially seeking proposals for the first phase of the massive redevelopment of the former Cabrini-Green housing project on the city's Near North Side. While the plan eventually calls for 2,340 residential units spread across 65 acres, the first phase (which is what the RFP is for) will include 900 units on 17 acres of land across three different sites. The first site is an eight-acre wedge-shaped lot just north of Clybourn Medical Center, the second site is the seven acres of open space immediately west of Target, and the third site is a 1.6 acre parcel just south of Oak between Larrabee and Cambridge. According to city guidelines, between 33 and 40% of the units must be reserved for public housing and include both options to rent and own. In addition to residential bids the city is seeking proposals for commercial and retail services as well. Proposals for Phase One will be accepted through April 29th of 2016.

[Photo by Nick Fochtman for Curbed Chicago]

This project also represents CHA's new approach to public housing. Preceding the demolition of the last Cabrini-Green tower in 2011 — when conditions within the housing projects were most dire — the success of nearby mixed-income developments provided the model that the city and CHA now aim to emulate with the next phases of Cabrini's redevelopment. The goal is to move away from monolithic centralized public housing towers isolated by acres of empty space and instead embrace a more granular approach to integrating low-income and market-rate housing into the surrounding area.

For many years Cabrini-Green was bordered by some of the city's most affluent neighborhoods and, as recent developments such as the the Division Street Target, the mixed-use New City project and high-end rental towers like Xavier and NEXT edge ever closer, it's clear that Cabrini's 65 acres is the next frontier for transformative North Side development. Will the future Cabrini-Green become the ideal mixed-income neighborhood, or is the ambitious redevelopment simply just an untapped gold mine for developers looking to cash in on government deals? The Chicago Housing Authority is no stranger to controversy, and there's no doubt that city residents and real estate insiders will be keeping a close eye on the process as proposals come in and are ultimately selected.

Here's a look at some of the projects that are currently on their way to the area:

This upcoming apartment tower from Fifield Companies caused a bit of commotion when the developer attempted to rebadge the area as "NoCA" — short for north of Chicago Avenue. However, after pushback, the NoCA bit has been dropped from the name of the tower, which will deliver over 300 units to the area by 2017.

Perhaps in a move to avoid the same controversy that Fifield experienced with their naming scheme, developer Gerding Edlen named this tower after Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini. While the name of the tower pays homage to the history of the area, the project itself will be privately funded, 240-unit building. The LEED Gold tower will be loaded with amenities and other interesting offerings like electric car charging stations. While the city's Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) allows developers to pay into a pool in order to avoid building affordable units on site, the new tower will actually include a handful of affordable units.

The Parkside of Old Town
If the name NEXT at NoCA was a hard pill to swallow, try the Parkside of Old Town. While the name suggests a white-washing of the area's connection with the CHA, this project will actually be a mixed-income one. Designed by Landon Bone Baker Architects, the boxy-looking development is being built in phases. Phase IIB is composed of 106 apartments and seven townhouses, of which 36 units reserved for CHA residents, 27 units at affordable rental rates, and 43 apartments will be rented at market rate.

1200 N. Clybourn
This mid-rise from Brinshore Development will take the place of the City Farm site at Division and Clybourn. Designed by Pappageorge Haymes Partners, the seven-story mixed-income building will feature 84 total units with 26 going to public housing, 26 reserved for affordable housing, and 32 going at the standard market rate rent. In addition, the project will also include 17,000 square feet of ground floor commercial retail space.

Cleveland + Chicago Residential
This entry to the area will deliver 200 residences, 186 parking spaces and some ground level retail to Chicago Avenue when it is completed. The project has gone through several iterations, but this design from VOA Associates is likely what we'll be seeing at 460 W. Chicago Avenue in the not-so-distant future.

Jay Koziarz and AJ LaTrace

·Thousands of New Residences Slated for Former Cabrini-Green [Curbed Chicago]
·Just Released! The Redevelopment Plan For Cabrini-Green [Curbed Chicago]
·New Documentary Explores the Nearly-20 Year Demolition of Cabrini-Green [Curbed Chicago]
·New Apartment Tower 'Xavier' Scheduled to Open This Fall, Embraces Cabrini-Green Name [Curbed Chicago]
·City Farm Site Making Way for New Mixed-Income Development [Curbed Chicago]
·New River North Apartment Tower Drops 'NoCA' from Name [Curbed Chicago]
·Tower Near Former Cabrini-Green Site Returns With Changes [Curbed Chicago]

Frances Cabrini Homes, N Cambridge Ave, Chicago, IL 60610