In Spite of Opposition, Lincoln Yards Lands $900M in TIF Money

People trying to stop, slow, or just change the massive Lincoln Yards development on Chicago’s north side lost another battle in City Hall.

Rendering of Lincoln Yards (Via Sterling Bay)
Rendering of Lincoln Yards (Via Sterling Bay)

Chicago’s Community Development Commission voted unanimously to grant developer Sterling Bay $900 million in TIF money to help spur progress on the Goose Island mega project.

The $6 billion development includes more than two dozen buildings lining both sides of the north branch of the Chicago River between North and Webster Avenues. What it doesn’t include is a 20,000 seat soccer stadium, or an entertainment district run by Live Nation. Both of those were removed in order to get the approval of Second Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins. Instead, open space has been increased to a total of 21 acres, which includes parks, hardscape, and new riverwalks.

The $900 million TIF is the largest in Chicago history. So what does the city get for its (your) money? Most of it is transportation related: New bridges across the Chicago River, an extension of The 606, a new Metra station, new water taxi stops, and a reconfiguration of the Elston-Armitage-Ashland Circus.

When complete, Sterling Bay envisions a neighborhood with six thousand new homes, 3.08 million square feet of commercial space, 220,000 square feet of hotel space, 812,000 square feet of retail space, and 8.12 million square feet of mixed use space. The buildings will run from 80 to 650 feet tall.

Diagram of the January 2019 Lincoln Yards plan
Diagram of the January 2019 Lincoln Yards plan

Location: 1401 West Cortland Street, Goose Island

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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