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A look at the mixed-use redevelopment planned for Chicago’s former Harold Ickes Homes

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The CHA’s board recently voted in favor of a multi-phase plan to redevelop the vacant South Side parcel

A long-discussed and ambitious plan to revitalize the near South Side’s former Harold L. Ickes Homes public housing development has suddenly become a lot more clear thanks to new renderings recently to appear online. The project—developed as a joint partnership between The Community Builders (TCB) and McCaffery Interests—will fill a void in the cityscape created when the 1950’s era Ickes’ buildings were demolished between 2009 and 2010.

The plan hopes to completely reimagine the area bounded by State Street, Federal Avenue, Cermak, and 25th Street—preserving only the National Teacher’s Academy and a nearby baseball field. The latest images appeared in an online document from TCB as well as on the forum at and show considerably more of the development than a previous rendering released more than one year ago.

According to reports, the redevelopment will encompass four phases totaling 867 units across the site’s three square blocks. The project’s first tranche is expected to include 319 units of mixed-income housing (94 public, 58 affordable rate, and 167 market rate) plus new retail and commercial space. Work is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2017. The new buildings are designed by Antunovich Associates with the Ickes site's master planning coming from Gensler.

The latest images come on the heels of encouraging news that the Chicago Housing Authority board voted in favor of a measure that authorized a $3.6 million predevelopment loan to kick-off the process. With a host of other developments on tap for nearby McCormick place taking advantage of the Cermack Green Line stop, the near South Side appears on the brink of a major real estate renaissance.