The Chicago Plan Commission voted unanimously on McCaffery’s Plan for CMH

from Crains

Panel approves $350 million project planned for Children’s Memorial site

By: Micah Maidenberg February 20, 2014

 - Dan McCaffery

Dan McCaffery

A city panel approved developer Dan McCaffery’s scaled-back plan for the former Children’s Memorial Hospital campus in Lincoln Park, a project some area residents and community organizations have decried as too big and too dense for the North Side neighborhood.


After more than two years of debate about the size and scope of the proposed development, the Chicago Plan Commission voted unanimously today to allow Mr. McCaffery to build 760 housing units and 162,596 square feet of commercial space on a six-acre property at Halsted Street and Lincoln and Fullerton avenues.


A spokesman for the Department of Planning and Development confirmed today’s vote. Mr. McCaffery, who could not immediately be reached, still must win approval from the full City Council for the project.


Mr. McCaffery’s Chicago-based firm, McCaffery Interests Inc., has agreed to buy the former Children’s Memorial property for $50 million. The project is expected to cost $350 million, with a groundbreaking expected this summer, a city report says.


Mr. McCaffery initially wanted to build three towers, with close to 1,000 units, but failed to win support for that proposal from Lincoln Park Ald. Michele Smith (43rd).


In January, he unveiled a smaller proposal for the site that reduced the project to 858 units,dialed back the amount of retail space and lowered the heights of three towers.


Earlier this month, Mr. McCaffery cut back to the current 760 units, winning approval from Ald. Smith. In one key shift, Mr. McCaffery agreed to replace a proposed 11-story residential building with a five-story health club.


“This was a good compromise achieved after hard negotiation,” Ald. Smith told constituents in a recent email. She could not be reached late today.


The plan passed today also calls for more than 57,000 square feet of open space and 194 below-grade parking spaces.