A plan Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled over the summer to sell the old Malcolm X Community College campus to the Chicago Blackhawks and Rush University Medical Center for a massive redevelopment project is one step closer to reality.
Members Present (11/16): Chairman Joe Moore (49), Ald. Pat Dowell (3), Gregory Mitchell (7), Sue Sadlowski-Garza (10), Raymond Lopez (15), David Moore (17), Michael Scott, Jr. (24), Walter Burnett (27) Ariel Reboyras (30), Deb Mell (33).
Yesterday, the City Council’s Committee on Housing and Real Estate approved an intergovernmental agreement that would transfer City College’s Malcolm X College campus to the Department of Planning and Development and the Department of Fleet and Facilities Management. Once the City Council approves the transfer of the 11.15 acre site at 1900 W. Van Buren St., the City will demolish the academic building and remediate the land before selling part of it to the Chicago Blackhawks for a new training facility and youth hockey center, and part of it to Rush University for the expansion of their west side campus.
Last month, the City Council approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Public Buildings’ Commission for the $10 million demolition of the school’s only building. Once that’s complete, DPD will need council approval to sell the property. Asked yesterday if the demolition cost will be added to the sale price, Mary Benone with Department of Planning and Development said yes.
An amended plan to transform the historic 20th District Police Station in the 40th Ward into a performing arts center, an agreement to transfer city-owned lakefront property on the far South Side to a private developer for the construction of a mini-park, and various ordinances authorizing routine land sales also got the greenlight from the Housing Committee.
The Griffin Theater Company bought the century-old police station from the city in 2011 with plans to construct a 55-seat black box theater and another 100-120 seat performing arts space. The building located on the corner of California and Pershing was designed by architect C.F. Hermann, built in 1908, and appraised at $1.2 million. When Griffin bought the property from the city for $1, it agreed to finish the $2.1 million redevelopment plan by 2016. But due to the “financial crisis and ensuing recession”, according to the amended agreement, the developer failed to raise the capital necessary to complete the project and now needs an extension.
Sarah Wilson, with the Department of Planning and Development, says the new agreement expands seating for the planned blackbox theater and designates a new construction timetable. Phase 1 one the project, consisting of interior and exterior demolitions, must be complete by September 2016. From then, developers will have 11 months, or until August 2017, to complete the final stages.
Another ordinance sponsored by the City’s Department of Transportation authorizes the exchange of two parcels of lakefront property the city acquired during construction over the summer on Lake Shore Drive’s outbound ramps to the Stevenson Expressway. The agreement the Council Committee approved transfers the land to Chicago Lakeside Development, LLC (McCaffery Interests) for the development of a public park on the city’s lakefront. Under the agreement, the developers will have to maintain the pocket park for the next 20 years.
Of the 13 mostly routine items on the agenda, only one got deferred: an ordinance authorizing a lease renewal with the Chicago Transit Authority for the use of vacant city-owned land in the 39th Ward. Ald. Marge Laurino asked her colleagues to hold off on approving the lease agreement for the property at 5975 N. Pulaski because she isn’t thrilled that bus drivers use the stop for bathroom breaks.
“Currently at this particular location, which is a lovely turnaround for the CTA with trees and grass, and is really, very nice…[but] right smack dab in the middle of it is a porta potty,” she explained, adding that she’s working out an agreement with the neighboring fire house to let bus drivers do their business there.