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Redeveloper sought for site of Chicago’s former LeClaire Courts housing project

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The city will soon close its Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the vacant 36-acre parcel

City of Chciago

Following the 2011 demolition of more than 600 two-story Chicago Housing Authortiy (CHA) row houses dating back to the 1950s, the former site of the LeClaire Courts housing project on Chicago’s Southwest Side may soon finally see some action after years of inactivity. The City of Chicago is currently searching for a qualified developer to transform the overgrown 36 acres of land situated two miles north of Midway Airport, stretching along Cicero Avenue between 42nd to 45th streets.

The Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD) in collaboration with the CHA officially issued a Request for Qualifications to revitalize LeClaire Courts last month. While the city is open to a wide range of uses such as commercial, retail, and light industrial and manufacturing, one firm stipulation is that redevelopment plans must make allowances for no less than 183 public housing units to be located either on-site or at designated adjacent areas.

The City of Chicago’s RFQ closes Monday, April 24 at noon. The DPD expects redevelopment plans to be presented in the third week of May, with a winning proposal anticipated to be selected at a later date yet to be determined.

With many past LeClaire Courts residents patiently awaiting to return to the site they once called home, the city stressed that project completion “in a timely fashion is critical” to its decision-making process. That being said, the DPD has also not ruled out a phased redevelopment approach to the sprawling, CHA-owned site.

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