CRE N Illinois

Lincoln Yards coming into focus: 5,000 residential units and 800-foot towers

Sterling Bay revealed a few more details about their Lincoln Yards development at a meeting hosted by Chicago 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins. These include hard targets: 6 million square feet of commercial space, 5,000 residential units, up to 500 hotel rooms and buildings as tall as 800 feet.

The Chicago-based developer submitted two planned development applications and signaled that it would commit $60 million to Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity Bonus program in exchange for a 6.5 floor-area ratio on one of the projects and a 4.5 FAR on the other. Speaking at the event last night, Erin Lavin Cabonargi, director of development services at Sterling Bay, said that buildings on the development would average 300 feet tall but a few “icon” buildings could top out at 800 feet.

The developer has previously mentioned infrastructure improvements to allay residents’ fears of added congestion, including a new Clybourn Metra station, expansion of the 606 Trail and a light rail component that would connect the area to the Loop. According to Cabonargi, Sterling Bay is proposing the construction of three new bridges over the river at the site, one at Dominick Avenue and another at Concord Place, in addition to the trail bridge for The 606. They also intend to install water taxi stations.

Lincoln Yards is Sterling Bay’s ambitious, $5 billion mixed-use project that would create a new neighborhood on 70 acres along the North Branch of the Chicago River. Pitched as a location for Amazon’s HQ2, the development will include office and residential uses, along with hotels, a major enternainment component, restaurants, a six-acre park and a soccer stadium.

Sterling Bay has been very active in the past year with high-profile acquisitions, including 600 West Chicago Avenue—home to the Groupon headquarters—which they purchased from Equity Commonwealth for $510 million as well as the two-tower Prudential Plaza acquired from 601W Companies for $680 million. Most recently they paid $300 million for Hearn’s stake in 875 North Michigan Avenue, formerly known as the John Hancock Center.