Mayor Emanuel Pitches Expanded Density Bonuses in Downtown Chicago

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed an expansion of the city's Downtown Zoning District this week. The changes would allow taller buildings in a larger swath of the city.
February 19, 2016, 1pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Bill Ruthart reports that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is "seeking a new program to charge developers extra for packing more square footage into downtown buildings, with the money going for projects in Chicago's economically depressed neighborhoods."

"The mayor estimated the proposal could generate roughly $40 million to $50 million in the next three or four years — but it also could help some developers make millions of dollars more on new projects," adds Ruthart.

The "Neighborhood Opportunity Bonus," as Mayor Emanuel calls, it would build on the existing "Zoning Bonus Ordinance," to provide incentives for developers to build more amenities into projects in return for greater height and density.

"Under the mayor's plan, some of the current bonuses — which he argued benefit mostly the building itself — will be eliminated in exchange for fees that would be set aside for neighborhood projects," reports Rurthart, who also describes how the new funding for economic development in struggling neighborhoods would be spent.

Fran Spielman provides additional coverage of Mayor Emanuel's announcement for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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Published on Thursday, February 18, 2016 in Chicago Tribune
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