CHICAGO — The Chicago Plan Commission has granted approval for development to move forward for the Chicago Lakeside Development. The project, which is being touted as one of the largest public-private projects in the city's history, consists of the brownfield redevelopment of 369 acres of lakefront land in the city's South Shore neighborhood.

The developer of the $4 billion project is Chicago Lakeside Development LLC, a joint venture between McCaffery Interests and U.S. Steel Corp., whose former South Works plant currently occupies the site. The scale of the project is massive. In its 25- to 45-year build-out period, the project will add approximately 17.5 million square feet of commercial space, 13,575 new homes, a new high school and a 1,500-slip marina to the neighborhood. Approximately 125 acres will consist of public land, and an estimated $450 million in public infrastructure will be added, including an expansive commuter rail and bus service. Funding will come from the joint venture as well as the city.

“The approvals by the Plan Commission are the result of more than 4 years of collaboration and negotiations with the City of Chicago,” said Daniel McCaffery, founder and president of McCaffery Interests, in a statement. “It hasn't been easy, but the positive economic and social effects of these actions will last for a very, very long time. The development of these 369 acres will signal a new and positive future for southeast Chicago.”

The city's approvals also included the enactment of a planned development ordinance that will provide the required land use entitlements for Phase I of the project. Consisting of 76 acres in the northwest part of the site, Phase I, which is being called The Market Common, will consist of 800,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, entertainment and residential space. The phase will commence construction in 2012.

Ultimately, the Chicago Lakeside Development will have at least six development phases. The project's designers include Skidmore, Owing & Merrill, Sasaki Associates and Autunovich Associates.

— Coleman Wood

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