3 towers, 1,000 housing units proposed at former Children's Memorial site
(Crain's) — McCaffery Interests Inc. has proposed building nearly 1,000 units and three towers, one as high as 27 stories, on the former Children's Memorial Hospital site in Lincoln Park, according to a zoning application filed today.
The plan would dramatically remake the six-acre campus at the intersection of Halsted Street and Lincoln and Fullerton avenues, calling for several new structures and reuse of a number of existing buildings. It would also include 164,500 square of retail space.
New residential towers include a 24-story building at the northeast corner of Lincoln Avenue and Orchard Street with 262 units; a 27-story building with 286 units on the east side of Lincoln south of Fullerton Avenue, and a 14-story building with 150 units on the west side of Lincoln south of Fullerton that community residents say may be used as a hotel. Existing buildings also would be converted to housing units.
Executives from the Chicago-based developer, which was chosen in July 2011 to redevelop the property, were not immediately available for comment Wednesday.
McCaffery representatives have been pitching their plan for the property to neighborhood groups for several months, gathering feedback ahead of a large community meeting scheduled for Thursday evening.
As with any large-scale development, residents are likely to bring an array of critiques to the table, including worries about the height of the towers. Traffic flow and loading dock issues are other possible flashpoints.
“It's a pretty ambitious plan in terms of the height of the residential towers, which is one concern,” said Theodore Wrobleski, a lawyer and vice president of the Sheffield Neighborhood Association. “But we'll see how people react to that, and there's still a concern, I think, about an entrance on Fullerton for all the trucks.”
Mr. Wrobleski, who has seen McCaffery's proposal, added that the residences will all be apartments.
Allan Mellis, a Lincoln Park resident who said he learned about the latest plans at a July 5 meeting of the Wrightwood Neighbors Association, said McCaffery wants to include senior housing on the site, as well as affordable units, some of which may be used for veterans.
The developer dropped earlier plans calling for shorter, bulkier towers in favor of taller, thinner structures, Mr. Mellis said.
“We've seen changes that I think reflect the changes the community has asked for,” he said.
McCaffery's zoning application, filed with the City Council, also shows public spaces at the site, including a landscaped courtyard.
The neighborhood meeting on the new proposal will start at 6 p.m. at the DePaul Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave., according to an email from Ald. Michele Smith (43rd), who represents Lincoln Park.
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