New Development Abounds in West Loop Zoning Changes Could Pave the Way for More

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Block Club Chicago reports on the progress of a new zoning ordinance that would allow for new residential development north of Lake Street in the Fulton Market District—long prohibited because of proximity to “trucks and the blood and the smell” permeating the area from the once abundant light industrial and meatpacking facilities there. The Plan Commission approved the changes in February; at its meeting this Tuesday, the Chicago Committee on Zoning approved the ordinance as well.

If approved by the full City Council, the ordinance will allow residential development within the Kinzie Corridor Overlay District bound by Ogden Avenue, Carroll Avenue, Hubbard Street, Halsted Street, and Wayman Street, with the stated aim of guiding the area toward a “mixed-use, mixed-income” neighborhood. Developers will need to set aside 30% of units for affordable housing under the framework of the Fulton Market Innovation District.

From Blood & Trucks to Food & Luxe

Over the last decade, says Block Club, the area has morphed from its meatpacking roots into a “mixed-use area full of glamorous restaurants, high-rise offices, and luxury shops.” Ald. Walter Burnett, Jr. (27th), who represents the neighborhood, says that industrial business owners became “millionaires overnight” by selling their properties—literally paving the way for the new development afoot.

Burnett sees the zoning proposal as a “shot in the arm” for Chicago’s downtown as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic (pun intended?), keeping development and tax dollars “flowing into the city.” 

More Condos, Co-ops, & Rental Options

The Committee on Zoning also approved plans for a 19-story condo building across from Mary Bartelme Park and a 12-story apartment building near Union Park, both approved by the Plan Commission last week.


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