The company behind the controversial Lincoln Park Hospital site redevelopment has agreed to scale down its plans, place further limits on truck traffic and donate money to a local school and park, 43rd Ward Ald. Michele Smith said today.
Construction already had started on Webster Square, which the Chicago City Council approved shortly before Smith took office in mid-May even though she had campaigned against it. But Smith proposed zoning ordinances that could have made life tougher on the developers and then brought them to the negotiating table — with an assist from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration.
Residents sued over the council's approval of the earlier plan. They feared the development would harm the area's character and argued a grocery store and more retail space wasn't needed.
Smith said she talked to residents and believes they will accept new one, which still requires Plan Commission and council approval.
“All of this has to be reduced to a binding written agreement,” said the group's attorney, former 43rd Ward Ald. Martin Oberman. “It has been tough to get these people to live up to their agreements, so it has to be very specific.”
As described by Smith, the compromise includes a ban on Webster Street for larger trucks delivering goods to a grocery store that's part of the project. The trucks instead will unload on Lincoln Avenue. Smaller trucks will unload in a garage structure on Webster.
Sandz Development Co. also would not build 50,000 square feet of office space in a former office building on Geneva Terrace. Instead, apartments will go there. And a 40-unit building slated for Grant Place instead would be site of eight row houses.
Stores and restaurants would be excluded from the north side of Webster. And the developer would donate $40,000 to Lincoln Elementary School and $20,000 to Oz Park.