Aldermanic Obstruction Too Strong for Former Chicago Spire Site Plans

Developers Related Midwest have new plans for the infamously failed development site, but have so far been stymied by demands from the office of Alderman Brendan Reilly.
October 24, 2018, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Blair Kamin does not mince words in when describing the causes of a recent decision by an alderman in Chicago regarding the long-languishing former planned location of the Chicago Spire:

In rejecting developer Related Midwest’s proposal for the former Chicago Spire site at 400 N. Lake Shore Drive, Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, is kowtowing to the NIMBY instincts of his constituents, who clearly don’t want the world streaming through their high-rent backyard.

The impact of the decision spreads to the Cityfront Center, which Kamin recently documented in a feature-length interactive story that serves as a cautionary tale about mega-project planning.

In the case of the former Spire site, the project would have further the incomplete goals of the city's master plan for the Cityfront Center to leverage private development for the benefit of public open space. "The developers even pledged $10 million to help build the long-stalled DuSable Park," according to Kamin.

In fact, reports Kamin, the concerns of the constituents, as represented by the actions of Alderman Reilly seem to be in making the public space around the building less open. According to Kamin, "in an email to constituents Monday, Reilly announced that the plan “remains stalled” and will stay that way until Related Midwest responds to a list of concerns from neighbors, including this absurd pair: Get rid of the proposed public esplanade along the Ogden Slip and develop a “security plan” for the Riverwalk and DuSable Park."

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