Redevelopment of old Children’s Memorial Hospital site scaled back
BY ART GOLAB Staff Reporter December 19, 2013 8:01PM
Updated: December 19, 2013 8:02PM
Plans for prime Lincoln Park real estate formerly occupied by Children’s Memorial Hospital have been trimmed back in response to community concern according to developer Dan McCaffery, who released a new proposal Thursday.
The new plan cuts 138 residential units from an earlier 2012 proposal, bringing the total to 858. It reduces building square footage by 174,000 square feet and trims the heights of several buildings planned for the former hospital site in the area near Fullerton and Halsted.
It also adds underground truck docks and parking and converts two intersections from stop signs to traffic lights.
“The plan has been thoroughly reworked in consideration of comments made by the neighborhood with respect to height, density, parking, accessibility, residential and retail uses,” said McCaffery, Chairman and CEO of McCaffery Interests.
But neighborhood activist Ed Burnes called the proposal “out of character with the neighborhood,” because the area’s current zoning only allows a maximum height of seven stories.
The new proposal reduces the heights of proposed buildings from 27, 24 and 14 stories to 19, 19 and 11 stories.
“You’ve got zoning codes for a reason,” said Burnes. “This would do nothing but add to the congestion and traffic and parking issues.”
McCaffery defended his plan, saying it would bring in a greater mix of incomes with some units aimed at young singles and senior citizens.
“You can’t play the game that only my style of life makes this a quality neighborhood,” McCaffery said. “A community within the heart of a city has a stronger and better context when it is more open to more people,” he said.
Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) said she will wait for community reaction before making up her mind.
“My job as alderman is to push for the very best deal possible based on the and to listen to what everyone has to say,” Smith said. “I’m committed to an open, data driven process.”
McCaffery will present the plan at a community meeting on Tuesday, January 14th, 6:30 p.m. at the DePaul Student Center 2250 N. Sheffield.
The 60-page proposal can be viewed at www.suntimes.com.