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North Branch plan, other developments headed to Chicago Plan Commission in May

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Based on its official notice, this month’s agenda is shaping up to be an important one

A conceptual rendering illustrating publicly accessible open space along Chicago’s North Branch Industrial Corridor.
Department of Planning and Development

In addition to more routine items like the approval of individual planned developments and the sale of city-owned parcels, this month’s meeting of the Chicago Plan Commission will vote on a resolution to overhaul the city’s North Branch Industrial Corridor. The unprecedented measure would affect not just one property but roughly 760 acres of primarily industrial land at the intersection of Chicago’s Goose Island, Lincoln Park, and Bucktown neighborhoods.

Scheduled for 10:00 AM on Thursday, May 18th in the Council Chambers at Chicago’s City Hall, the Commission will consider the following items:

North Branch Industrial Corridor Framework

Chicago Department of Planning and Development

↑ With the 11-month period for public comment finally drawing to a close, the Chicago Plan Commission will vote on a resolution to approve the Planning Department’s so-called North Branch Industrial Corridor Framework. Drafted over the past year with input from city planners, local residents, and other community stakeholders, the framework plan represents a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to guide the future of the land flanking the banks of the Chicago River between Kinzie Street and Fullerton Avenue.

The first phase of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s initiative to eventually review each of the city’s 26 industrial corridors, the North Branch plan was drafted in recognition of the area’s shift from traditional manufacturing to advanced manufacturing, innovation, and high tech office space. The document also addresses demands for public open space, improved transportation, and a desire to preserve and adapt the area’s industrial urban character.

While roughly 82 percent of the North Branch Corridor exists within a protected Planned Manufacturing District (PMD) zoning designation, the document will recommend a future land use plan before any zoning is stripped or change. If approved, the plan is expected to guide a number of potential new projects along the corridor—including the redevelopment of the vacant 28-acre riverfront parcel previously occupied by the A. Finkl & Sons steel company.

6418 North Sheridan Road

GREC Architects

↑ A joint venture between Three Corners Development and the Chicago Housing Authority is seeking approval for a seven-story building proposed for 6418 N. Sheridan in Rogers Park. If approved, it would contain 111 apartments, 125 below-grade parking spaces, and nearly 30,000 square feet of retail space—most of which could be leased to Target. Approximately 60% of the units would be reserved for CHA residents with the remaining 40% to be rented at market rate. Design of the mixed-material structure comes from Chicago’s GREC Architects.

4849 North Lipps Avenue

45th Ward

↑ Slated for a vacant lot steps from the Jefferson Park Transit Center, the proposed development at 4849 N. Lipps comes from developer Mega Realty and designer Archamerica. This project was first proposed in 2015 as 12-story development containing 96 apartments with 265 parking spaces and has since seen multiple revisions.

The plan grew by one story and added seven units while slashing parking by 15 stalls in 2016. This latest iteration of the project—now officially known as ‘Jefferson Place’—will rise 16 stories and has removed a further 50 parking stalls (for a total of 200) while bumping apartment count up to 114. New ground floor retail is also on tap.

2900 South Hillock Avenue

The Plan Commission would amend the second phase of the project, illustrated above as “Future Development.”
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty

↑ Riverbend Real Estate Investments LLC is looking to modify its existing and previously approved PD at 2900 S. Hillock in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood. While the first phase of the project calls for 17 new single family homes, the developer is seeking permission to build a four-story multifamily building at the north edge of the site fronting the Chicago River. The yet-to-be-revealed structure would contain 28 dwelling units with 28 accessory parking spaces.