With all the hype surrounding the forthcoming Chicago USL team— especially since the Ricketts Family got involved— it might be easy to forget that the stadium deal it’s tied to isn’t quite a done deal yet. Between neighborhood residents, business owners, and anyone whose daily commute takes them within shouting distance of the proposed Lincoln Yards development plan, there are a lot of stakeholders involved.
The community surrounding Lincoln Yards will finally get their chance to give feedback on the proposal later this month. Alderman Brian Hopkins (2nd) will be hosting the first public meeting to discuss Lincoln Yards on July 18th.
In an email newsletter announcing the meeting, Ald. Hopkins laid out clear metrics by which he and the community should evaluate the proposal. These include access to public transit, improvements to infrastructure, environmental impact, and overall quality of life.
“The redevelopment of the North Branch Corridor presents a significant opportunity to enhance our community and reflect important development principles we all share,” Ald. Hopkins wrote.
The meeting comes weeks after a group of community leaders voiced skepticism and concerns over the Lincoln Yards proposal in the Chicago Sun-Times Letter To The Editor column. The group called out Sterling Bay and the City of Chicago for a lack of transparency and open dialogue.
Last year, the city Department of Planning and Development held public meetings about how to transform the former North Branch Industrial area. Residents repeatedly questioned vague guidelines that left more questions than answers while leaving fundamental planning issues such as infrastructure improvements and public park space in the exclusive hands of developers. The city ignored public sentiment. The community needs to see the plans, be given the time to regroup to review how Sterling Bay and the city might address our concerns and be allowed to voice community consensus in a public forum. Communities routinely have multiple public meetings on projects far, far smaller than Lincoln Yards. This represents a huge break from tradition.
The meeting will be held on July 18th at 6pm at Near North Montessori School, 1434 W. Division St. Anyone who wants to submit questions ahead of time can do so by emailing Ald. Hopkins’ office.