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Ald. Brendan Reilly endorses new plan for Wolf Point development

The Wolf Point site plan showing just first building project an apartment tower.

The Wolf Point site plan showing just the first building of the project, an apartment tower.

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Updated: December 11, 2012 6:13AM

Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) endorsed a development team’s revised plan for Wolf Point on Friday, citing its enhanced green space and improved traffic control.

The backing from Reilly, whose downtown ward includes Wolf Point, is virtually a prerequisite for the project getting city approval. It now can get a hearing before the Chicago Plan Commission, possibly as soon as Nov. 27, and get referred to the City Council for final approval.

The three-building development would sit just west of the Merchandise Mart, on a historic site where the Chicago River splits into north and south branches. The 350 N. Orleans building that includes the Chicago Sun-Times offices is a neighbor. Wolf Point contained some of the first settlements in frontier Chicago.

In an e-mail to constituents, Reilly said, “Thanks to your feedback, the revised proposal is a far greener, far more compatible plan for our neighborhood.” He said traffic signals will be added and improved at nearby intersections at the developers’ expense and the landscaping, covering 78 percent of the three-acre site, will be larger than some neighborhood parks.

Reilly also noted that the developers are seeking no public subsidy. Investors in the deal include the Kennedy family and Houston-based Hines Interests LP.

The first building, expected to be started in 2013, would be a 525-foot-tall apartment tower on the western edge of the site. Later buildings, the tallest being 950 feet, would be for offices but they could be many years off, as they depend on market demand.

Reilly introduced the revised plan at a neighborhood hearing Oct. 29. It received more positive comments than the earlier version did during a May meeting.

An opposition group, Friends of Wolf Point, has criticized the project as too dense.

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