Lincoln Commons Plan Gets Tweaked

It’s been four years since the plan to replace the old Children’s Memorial Hospital with a mixed-use development called Lincoln Common was approved, and it’s still getting some refinement.

Rendering of the Children's Memorial Hospital redevelopment (Courtesy of McCaffery Interests)

Rendering of The Lincoln Common (Courtesy of McCaffery Interests)

Construction of the two main towers in the McCaffery Interests and Hines development topped off long ago, and busy construction bees are buzzing all over the property, completing its 92,000 square feet of retail space, 60 condos, and 538 apartments.

Hold the phone on those last two.

The developers have asked the City of Chicago for permission to cut back on the condos in the Wilson/Jones buildings on the corner of Fullerton Avenue and Orchard Street.  Instead of 60 condos, the city as approved a request to knock that back to just 38 homes.

Those 22 units will end up in the two towers, which go from 270 apartments each to 281.

The Nellie Black Building stays put at 149 rooms, and the Kohl’s House keeps its four residences.  So the total residential capacity for Lincoln Commons remains 753.

So does that mean the Nellie Black project is getting physically smaller?  No.

Zoned space is being legally transferred from the two towers and one of the retail/office buildings to the Nellie Black building.  The extra 1,833 square feet will allow the remaining units in Nellie Black to become larger. In fact, the legal roof height of the Nellie Black building has been increased from 92 to 96 feet, and its new maximum height will be 112 feet, seven inches.

With fewer units in the Black building, less parking is needed, so the number of spaces there is being scaled back from 97 spaces to 58.

The planning department has also signed off on another small parking adjustment.  Originally the 850-space parking garage on the south side of North Lincoln Avenue was supposed to have  46 spaces set aside for DePaul University.  DePaul has since found parking elsewhere, and those spaces will be available for the general public to lease.


Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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