Financial measures introduced today to City Council by Mayor Rahm Emanuel would support the potential redevelopment of a section of the former site of the Fisk coal plant on the Lower West Side into a riverfront park and a new high school athletic field in West Town.
Throop Street River Park, Chicago River at Throop Street
The development of a $120,000 plan for a proposed Throop Street River Park in the Pilsen Industrial Corridor would be supported through $40,000 in Open Space Impact Fees (OSIF). The funds would be used to study the potential for creating the park on a 1.5-acre vacant portion of the of the former Fisk site.
Through a community engagement process, the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) would facilitate the creation of the plan and an implementation strategy for the park along the north bank of the South Branch of the Chicago River. The plan would assess design possibilities involving access, stormwater management, landscaping, wildlife habitats, trails, overlooks, and fishing piers. The plan would also include a budget and potential funding sources.
The remainder of the study costs would be provided through a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Zone Management Program.
The project is expected to begin this spring and be completed by the end of 2017.
The OSIF program collects fees associated with the construction of new residential projects to apply to the open space needs of surrounding neighborhoods.
Wells Community Academy High School, 936 N. Ashland Ave.
An OSIF in the amount of $1.7 million would support the construction of a 0.6-acre combination soccer and baseball field at Wells Academy High School in West Town. The $3.4 million project for students and community residents would involve the removal of pavement and concrete at the rear of the school, installation of a drainage system, artificial turf, netting, fencing, walkways, and accessibility upgrades. The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) would also contribute $1.7 million to the project. The school is named in honor of former CPS superintendent William Harvey Wells.
OSIFs are generated by new residential development projects and allocated toward open space projects within the City’s 77 community areas.
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