At Issue: What Is The Future Of Lincoln Yards Development?

Craig Dellimore
December 28, 2018 - 9:00 am

Craig Dellimore/WBBM Newsradio

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- You may not think of it as a big story for 2018, but the debated Lincoln Yards development is an important issue in Chicago that is just scratching the surface of its affects on the city.

Mary Dixon, morning newscaster on sister station WXRT, said plans to develop the area on the north side touch on politics, gentrification and even sports.

Dixon said developers have big plans for the Lincoln Yards area on the North Side. They could have wide ranging impact on the arts community, affordability, sports and politics. In addition to projects that could affect the performing arts, there's talk of a professional soccer team to be housed there as well.

Why is Chicago such a great art city? Dixon answers this question that encompasses new struggles for artists.

"It is affordable for artists to live in so you have small music venues like the Hideout right in that area where Lincoln Yards wants to set up," Dixon said.

She said those owners have said the development should pump the breaks until the 2019 election comes in to see what officials and budget allocations land.

"How about we wait to approve this until we get some more time?" said Dixon. 

After developer Sterling Bay announced his plan about the area, the Hideout and other small business owners and music venues created an alliance called the Chicago Independent Venues League to try and slow the massive project that would affect their business, affordable housing, transit and gentrification to the quiet neighbrohood.

Craig Dellimore/WBBM Newsradio

Block Club Chicago reported on the corwded Nov. 29 community meeting with developers, who presented updated details to the development but still had most residents concerned about green space, congestion and the indie music scene.

Mark Grote, of sister station WSCR, points out there are also concerns that Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants development accelerated so that the plans are secured before he leaves offiice. 

We look at the year that was this weekend and the issues looming over Lincoln Yards development on our At Issue weekend program. You can hear more stories Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.