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Plan to bring 12,000 new homes to Chicago’s South Works site is gaining momentum

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As developers close in on acquiring the property, the multi-phase plan has also gained the enthusiasm of the mayor

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The latest plan to redevelop U.S. Steel’s abandoned 430-acre former South Works site on Chicago’s far south side is reportedly making meaningful progress behind the scenes at City Hall. According to Fran Spielman of the Chicago Sun-Times, the so-called Chicago 8080 Lakeshore Masterplan has Mayor Rahm Emanuel excited—even “gung ho”—about the project.

The joint venture between developers Barcelona Housing Systems and WELink is close to acquiring the vacant lakefront land from U.S. Steel and could be just six weeks away from putting pen to paper on a deal. In January, Crain’s reported the transaction could be worth between $55 million to $80 million.

A previous mixed-use plan from Dan McCaffery to develop the South Works site never got off the ground and ultimately fell apart in early 2016. Despite McCaffery’s nonstarter, elected officials and city planners seem to be more bullish on the latest plan which would be implemented in four phases of 3,000 modular homes and include new retail and recreational space.

“They have the financing. . . . They wouldn’t have gotten to this point if they didn’t,” Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th) told Spielman on Thursday. “They’re looking at us to be the prototype so people can see this project and . . . [they can] bring this development to other Midwestern cities.”

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