Down-sized plans for Children’s Hospital site in Lincoln Park

Yesterday’s email newsletter (pdf) from 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith had an outline of revised plans for the redevelopment of the Children’s Memorial Hospital site in Lincoln Park. A more detailed outline of the plan is available via a link from the newsletter, and a video summarizing the plan can be found at the project’s website.

The new plans contain a fair measure of NIMBY-feed: reduced building heights, changes to the affordable housing component, drastically cutting retail development and increasing the amount of open space on the site.

The plan includes the addition of retail space on the ground level of the garage fronting Lincoln Avenue. That’s a reprise of the proposal that Children’s Hospital made decades ago when it built the garage. The Lincoln Park community vetoed the earlier retail proposal, resulting in the crippling of what had been one of the most successful dining and nightlife strips in Chicago.

Will Lincoln Park NIMBYs once again doom Lincoln Avenue to a third-rate pedestrian experience and continue the garage’s negative impact on the viability of nearby businesses?

You’ll gain some perspective on the prospects for the site at a community meeting scheduled for 6:30 pm Tuesday, January 14th at the DePaul Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave. According to Alderman Smith’s newsletter: “At my direction (sic), McCaffery Interests will present their plans and answer any questions you may have about this revised proposal.”

Among the questions you might ask are: how much have delays in the project cost Children’s Hospital in ongoing maintenance, how much the proposed downsizing will cost Children’s Hospital in a reduced sale price for the site, how much less property tax revenue the City of Chicago will reap annually as a result of the reduction, what lay behind changing the affordable housing component, and how a small segment of the affluent Lincoln Park community justifies ranking its interests above those of the larger Chicago community and one of its major charitable institutions? If you have an answer to the last question, chime in with a comment.

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