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Developers unveil a new plan for Chicago’s long-vacant US Steel South Works site

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The 12,000-home plan hopes to succeed where previous schemes failed

Barcelona Housing Systems

It looks like US Steel’s massive 430-acre vacant property on Chicago’s far south side is going to be redeveloped after all. A joint venture between Barcelona Housing Systems and WELink will buy the former site of the South Works steel plant and build as many as 12,000 homes on the lakefront parcel located at the mouth of the Calumet River. While the agreed sale price was not disclosed, a source close to the story tells Crain’s that the deal could be worth between $55 million to $80 million.

Closed in 1992, South Works was selected as the site of a $4 billion multi-phase joint venture between US Steel and developer McCaffery Interests in 2004. Known as Chicago Lakeside Development, the ambitious plan for 13,000 homes, 17.5 million square feet of retail, wind turbines, and a marina was never realized and ultimately fell apart in early 2016 when McCaffery and US Steel dissolved their 12 year partnership.

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Dubbed Chicago 8080 Lakeshore Masterplan as a nod to the site’s 8080 S. Lake Shore Drive address, the latest plan from Barcelona Housing Systems and WELink will see the former South Works plot developed into 30 urban blocks inspired by Barcelona’s so-called mega-block approach to pedestrian friendly city planning. According to the developers’ website, the project will be implemented in four phases consisting of 3,000 homes each.

Though more realistic than McCaffery’s defunct high-density vision for the sprawling property, the new plan is still a risky and challenging undertaking as one of the Windy City’s largest single residential developments. Construction is expected to take many years and likely billions of dollars to complete.

Barcelona Housing Systems
Barcelona Housing Systems
Barcelona Housing Systems
Barcelona Housing Systems
Barcelona Housing Systems