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Children's Memorial Developer Adds Partner, Plans Demolition for 2015

By Paul Biasco | June 2, 2015 5:10pm
 A rendering of the main plaza as part of the Children's Memorial development site that would be built off Lincoln Avenue.
A rendering of the main plaza as part of the Children's Memorial development site that would be built off Lincoln Avenue.
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McCaffery Interests

LINCOLN PARK — The developer of the long-stalled Children's Memorial Hospital site announced his plans to begin demolition of the former hospital by the end of the year.

The six-acre site of prime real estate at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue, Fullerton Parkway and Halsted Street has sat vacant since the hospital moved to Streeterville in 2012.

Chicago-based McCaffery Interests, which has been seeking to redevelop the hospital into a mixed-use site with apartments, condominiums and retail, has been stalled for more than a year due to a lawsuit filed by neighbors of the site.

On Monday, McCaffery announced a new partnership on the project, bringing powerhouse developer Hines on board.

In the announcement, the developers stated that they plan to begin demolition on this hospital this year and complete the project in 2018.

The City Council approved a planned development to allow for taller and denser zoning on the site in April 2014, but McCaffery has yet to complete the land acquisition from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

The deal is expected to be valued at $50 million.

McCaffery expects to close that deal by late this year, according to Crain's.

McCaffery told Crain's the developers are currently in the financing phase of the project and the team is in talks with lenders to secure a construction loan.

A lawsuit filed by two neighborhood groups, Mid-North Association and Park West Community Association, to stop the $350 million project was dismissed by a Cook County judge in January.

The group behind the lawsuit, which also involves a number of individual residents, appealed that ruling and the matter remains in the courts.

Norm Wolf, a neighborhood resident and plaintiff in the lawsuit, said nothing has changed and the group plans to continue fighting the development in court.

Wolf said the group's attorney expected the appeal process to last through the end of the year.

"I guess nothing surprises me anymore, but I would be surprised if they actually start anything before they find out the results of the appeal," Wolf said.

McCaffery did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The project will include two apartment buildings with 540 total units, approximately 160,000 square feet of retail and up to 60 condominiums.

“The opportunity to partner with McCaffery Interests on this amazing site is very exciting to us," said Hines Midwest CEO Kevin Shannahan in the partnership announcement. "Infill urban mixed-use development requires a team that balances neighborhood needs, thoughtful architecture and a tenant mix that adds vitality and energy to the area. Our team is prepared to meet these challenges in Lincoln Park.”

Hines, a Houston-based company, had development six high-rise office towers in Chicago including the 52-story River Point at Lake & Canal, which is currently under construction, as well as Wolf Point West.

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