Last week, the Chicago Plan Commission approved the rezoning of 2032 N. Clybourn Avenue in Lincoln Park from M1-2 and M2-2 to B3-3 and then a Residential Planned Development.
This zoning change paves the way for a mixed-use, adaptive reuse project that will bring 136 apartments and other commercial uses to the site, including a food hall. To learn more, please see this presentation.
Formerly the Anixter Center, the property falls within North Branch Works’ service area. We’re pleased the developer proposed an adaptive reuse of a formerly industrial building and is pursuing landmark status. These actions are important steps to preserve the character of the neighborhood.
However, North Branch Works would like to see the area remain affordable. Continuing to convert land zoned for manufacturing and industrial use to residential results in lost opportunities for high-quality jobs.
Our letter to the Chicago Plan Commission highlights this point and others.
Each conversion means the North Branch has fewer head-of-household jobs that do not require advanced degrees. Industrial and manufacturing jobs support racial equity and build wealth within neighborhoods.
For these reasons, we would like to see more affordable housing in this project. The developer has currently proposed the ARO minimum of 10% affordable units. North Branch Works would support an additional 10-20% of these housing units be set aside for affordable housing and/or workforce housing.
At the same time, we’re pleased the project will create benefits for the area including 440 construction jobs, 75 permanent jobs, and 100% new property tax revenues.
Just as important, the developer has committed to the City of Chicago’s goals for women and minority business enterprise participation and to hire locally.
Now that the Plan Commission has approved the rezoning, the project moves to City Council for final approval. If it is approved by City Council, we want the project to succeed and look forward to working with Ald. Hopkins and the developer to attract businesses to the site.
North Branch Works will continue to monitor the project at 2032 N. Clybourn Avenue and provide updates, including bidding opportunities when they become available.