May 11, 2010

Community Development Commission designates developer for former steel mill site

Sets stage for revitalization of city's south shore lake front; 1,500 construction jobs expected and 1,000 permanent jobs when complete

Molly Sullivan    312.744.2976

The Chicago Community Development Commission (CDC) today granted the Department of Community Development (DCD) the authority to negotiate a redevelopment agreement (RDA) with Chicago Lakeside Development, LLC for redevelopment of the property located in the area bounded by 79th Street, 83rd Street, Brandon Avenue and US Route 41 in the Chicago Lakeside Development Phase I Tax Increment Financing Redevelopment Project Area, and recommended the designation of Chicago Lakeside Development, LLC as Developer. 

“This is an excellent example of a public-private partnership, redeveloping the site of the former U.S. Steel South Works, increasing the area’s tax base and creating new job opportunities where none existed,” Acting DCD Commissioner Chris Raguso said.  “We are pleased to help breathe new life into this abandoned site, re-vitalizing this area along the southern shore of the City’s lakefront.”

Plans call for the long vacant location of the former steel facility on the Southeast Side to be redeveloped in phases into a mixed-use development. 

Phase I of Chicago Lakeside Development TIF Redevelopment Project Area will be bounded by South Shore Drive, East 83rd St. and Brandon Avenue. It is part of a larger plan to redevelop the entire South Works site into a new community along the southern shore of the City’s lakefront.

The TIF redevelopment area includes the northern portion of the USX site and covers 87 acres in the City’s South Shore community which will eventually be developed into a new neighborhood that will feature residential, retail and commercial properties.

The CDC today recommended TIF assistance in the amount $96 million, to be used for the construction of public improvements which will benefit area residents upon completion, and to assist the development team with site preparation and infrastructure.  The funding will come from two or more bonds, which are anticipated to be repaid with the TIF increment over 20 years.  In the short term, the developer will receive a note with a value that will reach approximately $3 million; this note is anticipated to be repaid by project increment to cover the developer's cost of initial site preparation and development costs. This is an increment-generating project and the increment will only be created and allocated should the project succeed.

The project is estimated to generate nearly 1,000 permanent jobs in the retail component and more than 1,500 temporary construction jobs at a site that had once employed several thousand workers but for more than a decade has provided no jobs.

Chicago Lakeside Development, LLC is a joint venture between McCaffery Interests and United States Steel Corporation.  Construction is expected to begin on Phase I in 2013.

The CDC also recommended approval of the redevelopment plan for the proposed Montrose/Clarendon Tax Increment Financing Redevelopment Project Area in the Uptown community, designation of the area as a Tax Increment Financing Redevelopment Project Area, and adoption of a Tax Increment Financing for the area.  The TIF is generally bounded by Montrose Avenue on the south, Sunnyside Avenue and Wilson on the North, Lake Shore Drive on the east and the City alleys immediately west of Clarendon the west.

TIF is needed to redevelop the vacant buildings such as the Columbus-Maryville Emergency Shelter that closed last year and Clarendon Park, where Park District buildings are in a state of deterioration and disrepair.  The park itself also needs improvement.

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