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Cabrini-Green Redevelopment Underway As Developers Begin Bidding Process

By Mina Bloom | January 6, 2016 6:03am
 The final Cabrini-Green Redevelopment Plan
The final Cabrini-Green Redevelopment Plan
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Chicago Housing Authority

NEAR NORTH SIDE — The first step toward the redevelopment of Cabrini-Green is now underway, with developers set to begin bidding on 65 acres of vacant land where the old housing projects once stood.

The Chicago Housing Authority and the city are officially seeking proposals for the first phase of redevelopment, inviting developers to start bidding on approximately 17 acres at three separate sites, the city announced in a news release Tuesday. 

The first site is eight acres bounded by Clybourn Avenue, Larrabee Avenue to the east, the Clybourn Medical Center to the south and the former Blackhawk right-of-way to the north, according to the release. The second is seven acres bounded by Halsted Street on the west, the former Scott Street right-of-way on the north, a Target store on the east and Division Street on the south. The third incudes 1.6 acres bounded by Larrabee Street to the west, Oak Street to the north, Cambridge Avenue to the east and residential buildings to the south.

In all, the first phase calls for at least 900 mixed-income residential units across the three sties. Of those units, between 33 percent and 40 percent must be reserved for public housing, with the opportunity to either rent or buy. 

Developers are also invited to pitch retail and commercial projects "on designated sites that meet the community needs for amenities and employment," the news release reads. 

Construction on the first phase is expected to start sometime between 2016-2018.

The bidding process is the first step in the larger redevelopment plan, which is aiming to bring approximately 2,830 housing units to the area, with one-third reserved for public housing. 

At its peak, 15,000 people lived in Cabrini-Green in more than 3,600 housing units.

“While it’s been a long-time coming, we’re excited about this phase of development,” Carol Steele, president of the Cabrini-Green Local Advisory Council, said in a prepared statement. "The years we’ve spent planning have been worth it as we have a plan that both protects public housing residents while providing them with new opportunities both for better housing but also for the amenities and employment that all sustainable communities offer.”

The movement comes after a Cabrini-Green tenant group and the CHA reached a settlement agreement in a 2013 lawsuit over the future of 440 row houses this fall. Throughout the legal struggle, CHA pointed to the lawsuit as the main hurdle to redeveloping the area.

As part of the agreement, which was first reported by DNAinfo Chicago, the CHA has agreed to return 1,800 public housing units to the Near North Side. Of the 440 row houses at the heart of the lawsuit, at least 40 percent of units must be reserved for public housing and at least 15 percent must be reserved for affordable housing in future construction. 

According to the city, 434 public housing units and 153 affordable housing units have already been built in the Cabrini-Green area. There are also 53 affordable housing units and 62 public housing units currently under construction, the city said in the release.

Developers may submit proposals for one site or multiple sites, but each site requires its own proposal. Proposals are due April 29.

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