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Hundreds of residences planned for former industrial stretch of North Branch

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The longtime industrial corridor is beginning its major transition with new mixed-use development

Chicago Department of Planning and Development

The Chicago River’s North Branch has for decades been a major corridor for industrial users, but a transformative initiative approved last month by the Chicago Plan Commission has cleared the path for new uses, such as residential and retail development. Just weeks after the vote, a developer has come forth with a plan for 300 new residences, the Chicago Tribune reports.

According to real estate reporter Ryan Ori, local developer Belgravia Realty Group is eyeing a “triangular” 4.5-acre property along Elston Avenue. Ori also adds that the site is located just west of a Mariano’s grocery store and is bordered by train tracks and Webster Avenue. The site is located just across the river from the under-construction C.H. Robinson headquarters on Webster Avenue which will bring 1,000 jobs to the area.

The 4.5-acre property is highlighted in the center of this image.
Google Maps

According to the report, Belgravia is looking to bring roughly 340 total residences and 60,000 square feet of retail space to the triangular property. The unit count breaks down to 90 for-sale condominiums and 250 rental apartments spread out over several low-rise buildings. However, the sale of the property is contingent on obtaining a zoning change for the project.

The proposal is significant not only for its scale, but also in being the first major residential and retail project proposed for the area after the passage of the North Branch Industrial Corridor Framework Plan last month. The scope of the initiative covers a total of 760 acres of prime waterfront real estate along the Chicago River’s North Branch. And while several major office and commercial projects have been proposed and constructed over the last few years, this new deal is a sign of what is to come to the former industrial corridor.