CHICAGO (CBS) — For the people who live near what will become Lincoln Yards, a lot of changes are coming.
The city gave the green light for the project Wednesday, and if you live in Chicago, you’re going to help pay for it. The city council approved as much as $900 million in tax subsidies for the project.
Some of the prep work in the area has already been done, such as cleaning up the site. Now it’s time for the heavy lifting, and it’s going to change life in the large area.
The people who live nearby have one essential demand.
“I would like to see Sterling Bay’s Lincoln Yards project be a success, as long as it doesn’t negatively impact the surrounding community,” said Allan Mellis.
The impact will be enormous for Chicago’s North Side.
Within the 70 acres will be business, recreation, new park land, and 6,000 homes in multiple structures. The tallest high-rise will be 65 stories.
“There are a lot of new people who will be added to this neighborhood,” said Audrey Wennick, the director of transportation for the Metropolitan Planning Council. “We really need to think about high-capacity transit.”
The CTA would add new bus routes to the existing CTA stations, and a new terminal would be built for Metra.
“There needs to be explicit connections to those to make it really attractive for people to walk to those stations, and use them, and then increase the capacity on those lines,” Wennick said.
The Lincoln Yards developer plans major road construction. Elston, part of the congested intersection that includes Ashland and Armitage, is set to be realigned. Dominick Street would be extended several blocks.
The project also would include three new bridges across the Chicago River.
But one potential result of that road work that concerns Wennick is what she calls “induced demand” — more cars means more congestion.
“The easier you make it to drive, the more people will drive,” she said. “We want to make it easy for people to use transit, and attractive for people to use transit.”
Next up is temporary recreational fields on south end.
Construction on Lincoln Yards North is set to begin by the end of the year. All the work is scheduled to be done in a decade.