* Greg Hinz…
Armed with a somewhat revised pitch and what appears to be a growing need for state financing, the developer of the proposed One Central mega-development on air rights west of Soldier Field is offering a more detailed version of his plan at a virtual community meeting sponsored by Ald. Pat Dowell, 3rd, this evening.
The $20 billion proposal surely is far reaching, even as the COVID-19 pandemic raises questions about the desirability of living and working in the central city. Little had been heard about the proposal for the last year and a half. […]
Neither Pritzker, whose administration backed legislation authorizing Build Illinois infrastructure lending for such a program, nor Lightfoot, who would have to approve zoning and other matters, had any immediate comment on the current version of the proposal. […]
Included is a request to build up to 22.3 million square feet of apartments, shopping and a transit center on 31 acres decked over Lake Shore Drive and Metra Electric tracks, all funded in part by $6.5 billion in state financing.
* I reached out for a response from the governor’s office…
With the pandemic’s economic turmoil upending state budgets around the country, it would be a challenge for any state to provide the significant amount this developer is seeking. The state faces tremendous challenges and our efforts will focus on rebuilding in the aftermath of the pandemic, supporting residents hardest hit by the disease and helping small businesses get back on their feet.
The state previously took action that would only permit the developer to seek federal funding; had the state not taken action in the FY20 budget, the developer would have been locked out of significant federal grant dollars. However, the state did not commit any funding to the project.
The developer has not shared a transit study with the state that would demonstrate the need for a transit hub.
City approvals would be required before the state could move forward.