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Could Cabrini Redevelopment Mean a New Brown Line 'L' Stop?

By Paul Biasco | April 24, 2015 5:33am | Updated on April 24, 2015 8:46am
 A long-discussed plan to rebuild a Division Street stop on the Brown Line could become a reality, according to Ald. Walter Burnett (27th).
A long-discussed plan to rebuild a Division Street stop on the Brown Line could become a reality, according to Ald. Walter Burnett (27th).
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NEAR NORTH — Plans to transform the land once occupied by the Cabrini-Green public housing development could include the creation of a new stop on the Brown Line.

The long-discussed but never-solidified plan to create an elevated station at Division and Orleans was revived during a presentation of the Cabrini-Green plan Wednesday.

A parcel of land already has been set aside for the station at the 1,500-unit Atrium Village development at Division and Wells, according to 27th Ward Ald. Walter Burnett.

A new "L" stop in the area has been on the city's radar for years, but the area lacked enough potential ridership to justify it.

With the Atrium Village development and more than 2,300 housing units that will be built during the Cabrini-Green redevelopment, the potential ridership will be sufficient, according to Burnett.

The station would be between the Sedgwick and Chicago stops.

A CTA spokesperson said there are currently no plans to build in that area.

There are Red Line stops at Clark and Division and at North and Clybourn.

Private developers are expected to bid on a number of parcels on the 65-acre Cabrini-Green land this summer; if the station is built, those could be so-called transit-oriented developments.

Transit-oriented developments — which have been built or proposed recently in Logan Square, North Center and Jefferson Park — allow developers to provide just half the number of off-street parking spaces normally required if they are built within 600 feet of a transit station.

If a new station is built, it would be near the site of a stop at Division that existed from 1900 until 1949, according to Chicago-L.org.

Paul Biasco outlines the Cabrini-Green redevelopment plan:

The Division station was on the original main line of the Northwestern Elevated, according to the website, and it was one of 23 stations closed when the CTA took over.

The former line also included stops at Oak, Schiller, Larrabee, Halsted, Webster and Wrightwood.

Concerns about transportation on the Near North Side have been on the minds of residents and developers over the last few years as the New City development has taken shape on Clybourn Avenue.

The intersection of Clybourn, North and Wells is often gridlocked. With the addition of a Mariano's, movie theater, bowling alley, restaurants and 199 apartments, more traffic jams are likely.

New City includes 1,100 parking spaces to accommodate visitors.

Now that the Cabrini-Green plan has been laid out, the city needs to take steps to solve the potential congestion issues, said Michael Drew, founding principal of Structured Development, the group behind New City.

"[Chicago Department of Transportation] and the city have to realize it needs to be addressed," Drew said during a luncheon to discuss the Cabrini redevelopment Wednesday.

The Cabrini-Green redevelopment plan does propose changing a number of arterial streets that have dead ends by connecting them to other streets and demolishing row homes nearby. (See map below.)

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