Why is a ‘Once In A Generation’ development so reticent with respect to sharing details?

What are the plans for the former Finkl Steel Site on Cortland Ave?

Here is a link to RANCH’s questions for Sterling Bay and the Alderman representing the area.


To Infinity and Beyond–Finkl Redevelopment

You deserve a voice in this self-described “once in a generation” development.

2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins has called a community meeting regarding the Lincoln Yards Planned Development Proposal at:

Near North Montessori School – Gymnasium 

1434 West Division Street 

Wednesday, July 18 at 6:00 pm 

Limited parking is available in the Bosworth parking lot, and on the south side of Division Street at Holy Trinity Church.  

UPDATE:  Alderman Hopkins’s Community Advisory Committee for the Lincoln Yards development met for the third time on July 11, 2018.  Alderman Hopkins has not yet provided the promised substantive information on the proposed planned development.*  The only information we have is some dated information, much of which has been presented in previous newspaper articles and press releases.  Click here to review.

Nonetheless, other sources have reported that a representative from Sterling Bay presented the following information about the Lincoln Yards development at a Central Area Plan Committee meeting held last week (interestingly, prior to the July 11th Community Advisory Committee meeting):

  • 19 million square feet of new mixed-use development;
  • 7,500 new residential units;
  • 1,000 hotel rooms;
  • 100+ new shops and retailers; and
  •  in two weeks, the city of Chicago will be announcing a $1 billion infrastructure plan.

This 70+ acre development will have a substantial impact on issues affecting the surrounding communities:  traffic, congestion, open space, local schools, environmental, and in others ways.

Please come and hear from the Alderman.

Make your own decisions.

*See the June 2018 issue of the RANCH Reporter for a summary of the May 14, 2018 Community Advisory Committee Meeting and a copy of the April 12, 2018 letter from community groups to Alderman Brian Hopkins discussing process and the request for detailed information on the plan prior to the community-wide meeting.


Extra! Extra! June Ranch Reporter in now available!

Ranch Reporter_June 2018_-fnl

Finkl Steel is being redeveloped as Lincoln Yards. How will it affect RANCH Residents

CAC Process Issues Summary Letter(fnl)

Here’s the latest letter from the local community groups

April 12, 2018
2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins
1400 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
RE: Lincoln Yards Community Advisory Committee

Dear Alderman Hopkins:
Thank you for establishing the Lincoln Yards Community Advisory Committee (CAC) and adding the Lincoln Central Association, Friends of the River, and Friends of the Parks to the committee. We also appreciate the opportunity to have both the President and Planning Chair from each of the community organizations on the committee.

We all generally felt that the March 8, 2018 Sterling Bay Presentation was lacking in sufficient detail for us to be able to provide any kind of productive feedback. In the spirit of collaboration and in an effort to more clearly define the process and timing of our involvement with the Lincoln Yards development we would like to propose the following outline.

We understand that the first of several community wide meeting is planned to be held next month. We strongly request this meeting include additional details which were either not available or not presented at our CAC March 8, 2018 presentation in order that the community is able to ask good questions, express concerns, and make suggestions.
Within one week after the development team has given their first public community presentation, we request there be a CAC meeting to review the updated Sterling Bay presentation where the committee can offer first impressions and constructive feedback to the developer. One week after that CAC meeting, representatives from the Sterling Bay team will meet individually with each neighborhood organization to discuss neighborhood specific concerns. Within two weeks after this meeting, Sterling Bay will present their updated presentation based upon what they heard at the community meeting and
individual community meetings in a second public meeting.

We ask you to now provide a specific timeline with dates and the planned date this will be submitted to City Council so we can plan accordingly. To date, our requests for a specific process outline have not been addressed. This general cycle should repeat with a follow-up CAC meeting followed by a second round of neighborhood organization meetings and then another public meeting which is protocol with any developer review process.

The greater community must be able to see how the developer has incorporated their input into the updated developer’s plans. This meeting cycle should repeat itself a minimum of three times, or more if needed prior to their submittal of their proposal to the Planning
Commission. Given the magnitude of this ‘once in a generation’ development we feel a minimum of three community meetings is a reasonable request and additional community  meetings will likely be necessary even after the submittal of the Planned Development application.

As we have indicated previously, the submittal of the Planned Development prior to an adequate community process will lead many to conclude that the community’s input was never a real consideration.

The Planned Development should include: overall site plan; subareas; zoning; sequencing; proposed density for office, residential, office and public recreational and green park space; schools; community benefits; infrastructure improvements; public transportation enhancements; and other agreed upon elements.Since you have repeatedly indicated that you have Aldermanic prerogative and that this is a “once in a generation” project, the Planned Development should not go to the Chicago Plan Commission until
having the community and CAC meetings as outlined above.

The CAC looks forward to continuing the productive dialogue with you and Sterling Bay.

Very Sincerely,

Bucktown Community Organization
Lincoln Central Association
Allan Mellis
Ranch Triangle Community Conservation Association
Sheffield Neighborhood Association
Wicker Park Committee
Wrightwood Neighbors Association
cc: Friends of the River
Friends of the Parks c/o Erma Tranter
Linda Goodman
Alicia Berg

The Lincoln Yards proposed development is of a size and complexity heretofore unseen in the community. To enable the community to evaluate effectively any plan proposed by Sterling Bay, webelieve the following preliminary concepts, questions and issues must be :

In which areas of the proposed development would you intend to include residential units?
What types of units (single-family homes/condominiums/apartments/townhouses) and unit mixes (number of bedrooms) do you anticipate? How many total square feet of commercial space do you intend to construct? For what types of commercial uses will you build (i.e, office/tech/retail) and in what proportion? How many residents and workers do you anticipate the development could accommodate? How many total residential units do you intend to construct? Besides Amazon, what other ‘anchor’ tenants or occupants (ie types/categories) are envisioned by the developer? What can be learned from the New City development in this regard? What are the maximum building heights that you will seek? How will that density be spread across the various sites? Where on the site do you envision the concentration of taller buildings? At our first meeting there where three zones labeled  Kingsbury Residential (LY North), Dominick Commercial (LW West) and Dominick Commercial/Arts & Entertainment (LY South). Can you more clearly define these labels and the development plans within each district in terms of use? What are your plans for parking? How many parking spaces do you envision based upon your expectations for residents, commercial users and visitors? Describe any event space that you plan to construct (for example, Sterling Bay previously showed renderings of a soccer stadium), What is the capacity and what are the plans for parking and access? Based upon the number of residential units that you expect to construct, what is your expectation for
the school needs for the new residents? Lincoln Yards is part of several different elementary school attendance boundaries; has the city investigated the capacity of each affected school? What has the city determined?

Zoning Process:
What is the time line for when Sterling Bay proposes to submit its planned development plan with the city? In conjunction with Alderman Hopkins’s office, how many community-wide public meetings does Sterling Bay plan to hold prior to its submission of its planned development plan? Are TIF districts expected to be part of the Lincoln Yards development? What will TIF funds be used for? If a TIF is established what additional surrounding neighborhood assets will be included with the TIF as Lincoln Park High School, Oscar Meyer and Pulaski Elementary? Is a master plan being designed for the entire site? As the master plan provides the basis for the zoning ordinance, decisions of the Planned Development proposals should be consistent with the master plan. Master plans serve as instruments which guide the evolution of the community by bringing the social,
physical, and economic and political considerations into more meaningful focus.
What can we learn from the Lakeshore East master plan?

What comes first? Public improvements or commercial development? Are new developments and leasing/sales required to fund public improvements and amenities, or does the initial development budget include sufficient funds? Which public improvements are part of the initial development budget? Which areas of the site will see construction first? Please provide a time-line for inclusion of public improvements into the development. The Framework shows the 606 extension in the 5 to 10 year plan and the METRA station in the 10 to 20 year plan. Is there any possibility those timeframes can be accelerated up in the development process?

What are the various anticipated transportation infrastructure needs for a development of this scale? Will there be any new bridges? Where will they be located, and what is the basis for such location? What will be the impact on the existing communities/residents where traffic will be directed? What is the estimated time frame for completion?
Will transportation infrastructure lag behind development? If so, for how long? What is done in the interim? Is there any anticipated traffic/congestion that will be caused by and/or during construction of the development or corresponding infrastructure? How do you intend to mitigate any traffic/congestion during construction?
What is the estimated cost of transportation infrastructure? Who pays? How will it be funded? What is the process for accomplishing the extension of the 606? What is the expected timing? What would be the estimated cost and how would this be funded?
How will the design address multi-modal transportation connectivity of the site to surrounding neighborhoods in Lincoln Park and Wicker Park/Bucktown?

Open Space:
What is the open space planned and its proposed uses? Will it be publicly or privately-owned? How will public use and access be ensured? Will an open space master plan be provided with clear designations for size/use and whether the access is public private or some combination? What kind of bold solutions will be presented that will engage the community and meet the frameworks vision? Will the developer be encouraged to support or integrate into this design the North Branch Park +Nature Preserve being proposed?

Where will the new public schools be built for the new residents of the sites or is the plan to utilize the current schools which are nearing or at capacity? Who will pay for the schools and when will they be built in the timing/sequence?

Environmental Issues:
What are the environmental issues related to the site and what are the mitigation requirements for the type of development that is planned? What are the sources of funds to address mitigation issues? What is the plan for mitigating flooding and surface water runoff? What environmental work has been completed and what work still remains across all sites? Who will fund the cleanup work that is not yet completed?
What kind of actions and assurances will be taken to clean up the river and who will pay?

Are you in negotiations/discussions with some or all of the state and federal agencies/organizations needed with respect to the aspects of the Lincoln Yards proposals that require their consent/cooperation/funding? What is the status of the negotiations or discussions, if any? What funding sources are available or have been committed for improvements required as part of theLincoln Yards proposal?
What is a realistic time-line for the city and non-City of Chicago processes to achieve approvals and/orfunds? To what degree do the improvements rely on funding sources that Sterling Bay does not control?

North Branch Park Preserve Coalition Meeting

Thursday April 19, 2018

Little Sisters of the Poor

2325 N. Lakewood Ave

Chicago, Illinois 60614

6:00 p.m – 7:30 p.m.

New Location for the November Meeting of the RANCH Planning Committee!!

The December meeting of the RANCH Planning Committee will be held at St. Teresa Parish Center, located at 1930 N. Kenmore, on Monday, November 7, at 7:00 p.m.

The RANCH Reporter Newsletter is Back!!

The RANCH Reporter newsletter is back and includes lots of important information about our neighborhood including the status of the update of Clybourn Park, more about our Third Thursday concernt series, the ongoing upgrade of Privet Park, the wonderful work done at Anixter Center and a list of upcoming events including Tricks and Treats on Armitage Street on Sunday, October 30 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Download the newsletter in PDF format

The Latest On Northbranch Works and Finkl

The City of Chicago is working on plans to redevelop the Northbranch Corridor including the Finkl Steel site. Click here to see the materials from the city’s second community meeting regarding the issue.

See the latest on the issue from DNA Info.

“Like” RANCH Triangle on Facebook

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RANCH Triangle Board of Directors Adopts Position That Clybourn Corridor Planned Manufacturing District Should Be Relocated

At its regular meeting on January 14, the RANCH Triangle Board adopted the position that the Clybourn Corridor PMD should be transferred and that the existing properties should be opened to reasonable redevelopment with a focus on new infrastructure projects to alleviate congestion in our neighborhood. The document supporting this policy can be downloaded at:

The Future of the Clybourn Corridor PMD