City Council Approves Lincoln Yards, The 78 Developments

Craig Dellimore
April 10, 2019 - 1:05 pm

Sterling Bay

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- After months of discussion, debate and demonstrations, the Chicago City Council approved Wednesday more than $2 billion in tax subsidies for a pair of major commercial and residential developments.

The City Council voted by better than 2-1 margin to approve tax-increment financing for the controversial Lincoln Yards development on the North Branch of the Chicago River and the South Loop project known as The 78.

The council approved a deal for The 78 development in the South Loop by a vote of 31 to 14. The vote on the Lincoln Yards TIF was 32 to 13.

Alderman Michele Smith was a no-vote on Lincoln Yards.

"A tiff is supposed to provide a public benefit, but it is lacking in the Lincoln Yards development," she said.

But Alderman David Moore said he was urged to vote yes by a number of African American workers and business people, who said the whole city will benefit.

"From not only African American contractors, African American workers, African American insurance companies and people who will get those professional services as well," he said.

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot ended her opposition to the vote because promises of more minority and women-owned business participation. 

Current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said after the vote that the tax subsidies are "investments in the future that are not bound by the boundaries of the space. They will actually have dividends throughout the city of Chicago.”