From the vault: Fogelson’s $4 billion Gateway

McCormick Place

While we’re on the topic of Gateways, I just realized that it’s been almost exactly three years since Central Station mastermind Jerry Fogelson’s announced his intention to build a $4 billion development named — you guessed it — Gateway on the Near South Side, near McCormick Place.

The Tribune reported in February 2008 that Fogelson Properties and Forest City Enterprises planned to build 3,000 hotel rooms, 4,000 residential units, 300,000 square feet of retail space, 1.5 million square feet of office space in a high-rise standing as tall as 70 stories, a monorail, and an 18th Street ramp connecting Lake Shore Drive with Michigan Avenue, all over the 23-acre Metra rail yard on the west side of Lake Shore Drive, near Soldier Field.

“It’s the only vacant piece of land on Lake Shore Drive and it’s ugly,” Fogelson told the Trib. “Our plan is to cover this entire area.”

“We think that has the potential for being the center of the South Side of Chicago,” added Forest City co-chairman Albert Ratner.

The development would have been located just north of the city’s Olympic Village, but Fogelson said the project was independent of the city’s Olympics bid. Fogelson had hoped to break ground in 2009, and expected construction to last for at least 10 years.

The most recent mention I can find about Gateway comes from late 2009, when the Sun-Times reported (in a story about former school board president Michael Scott’s dealings with developers) that Fogelson wanted half a billion dollars in TIF funds for the project. That story isn’t available anymore, but is referenced in a blog post at Chicago Journal.

To my knowledge, no conceptual images of Gateway were ever released.

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