Chicago's Golden Goose

Once known as "Little Hell" for its copious industrial plants, Goose Island is a rare, relatively undeveloped investment opportunity. Centrally located, it may one day house swanky offices.
June 29, 2015, 9am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Bernt Rostad

Known better as a beer, Chicago's Goose Island has finally caught the eye of developers and investors. Location is the main draw. Just north of downtown, Goose Island has easy access to vibrant neighborhoods like Lincoln Park and Wicker Park. To the east of Goose Island lies the erstwhile site of Cabrini-Green. 

"Because it was designated by the city as a planned manufacturing district in 1991, the patch of land remains free of residential high-rises. The largely unchanged landscape, and its isolation, makes it one of the rarest urban planning opportunities in the country." 

It is estimated that "40 percent of Goose Island is ripe for redevelopment within 20 years. Longtime tenants such as Big Bay Lumber, FedEx and Waste Management soon will be joined by a federally funded digital manufacturing lab and Amazon.com's first distribution facility in the city, among other new uses."

If Goose Island is destined to become a glorious office park, significant transportation investment will be needed. "A successful transformation will require infrastructure upgrades. Only one pedestrian bridge spans the river, and auto traffic frequently chokes the streets on and around the island."

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Published on Saturday, June 20, 2015 in Crain's Chicago Business
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