CHICAGO (CBS) — The $6 billion development at Lincoln Yards is years away from being finished, but the massive project just opened its first small piece, a one acre park with three sports fields.
Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) helped cut the ribbon Sunday at Fleet Fields, at the corner of Ada and Wabansia. The park includes a full-sized soccer pitch, and two regulation-sized Futsal courts. Futsal is a variant of soccer played on smaller hard surface courts, usually with five players on each side.
Young athletes later put the artificial turf to the test, with soccer drills and a friendly scrimmage between Lincoln Park and Walter Payton high schools.
Sterling Bay, the developer of the Lincoln Yards project, said Fleet Fields is the first step in construction of the 55-acre development.
“While we work to transform this industrial land you see around you to build a permanent shared space that we can all enjoy for generations to come, we can enjoy Fleet Fields now,” Sterling Bay principal and associate general counsel Anna Simpson said. “We hope to use it for pickup games, to meet your neighbors for group fitness, and to come here and celebrate special events just like this one.”
Fleet Fields will be managed by Sterling Bay, and will be open to the public between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. seven days a week.
Lincoln Yards received $1.3 billion in tax increment financing from the city,
Sterling Bay doubled its commitment to on-site affordable housing earlier this year, agreeing to build 600 units within Lincoln Yards, instead of 300, just ahead of a key Zoning Committee vote on the project in March.
After Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was elected, Sterling Bay also agreed to increase the amount of work going to women- and minority-owned firms from $400 million to $800 million.
The overall project would include 6,000 new residential units, 21 acres of open space, new bridges across the Chicago River, a relocated Metra station, an extension of the 606 trail and new water taxi stops on the river.