There’s not a lot of places left in The Loop where someone with a valise full of hundred dollar bills can make a near-permanent mark on the city. But one of those places is about to open up.
You may know 331 South Plymouth Court as the funky (not in a good way) city parking garage lurking behind Pritzker Park, just off State Street. City Hall has decided to take advantage of the real estate demand in downtown Chicago and make this space available for redevelopment.
If this was an ordinary chunk of DX-16 coming up for auction, real estate developers would be on it like tweed on a numismatist. But instead of just turning an umbrella upside down and waiting for it to rain money, the city is running this project through an organization called Reinventing Cities. Reinventing Cities is an arm of C40. C40 is a globalist quango funded by the charities of billionaires in New York, London, and a bank in Denmark. It describes itself thusly:
Reinventing Cities is a competition initiated by the C40 to implement the best ideas to transform underutilized sites or buildings into beacons of sustainability and resilience and act as a showcase for future zero-carbon urban developments.
This site can certainly be described as “underutilized.” How it gets to become a “beacon of sustainability and resilience” remains to be seen.
This isn’t the first redevelopment proposal we’ve told you about for this space. Almost exactly five years ago we quoted from the minutes of a State Street Commission meeting:
DPD is finalizing the contract to offer Pritzker Park and the city garage behind it for sale. Some groups may not know this yet. The Chicago Park District said that they would handle any repercussions. The site is 48,000 square feet altogether and is zoned DX12.
This time, it appears the repercussions could be less, as the majority of the park looks like it will survive. According to a map on the Reinventing Cities web site, the redevelopment boundaries include the parking garage and only the western chunk of the park — very roughly 15,000 square feet by our very rough reckoning.
Right now, the city is in the information gathering stage — pulling together public comments and seeing who might be interested in putting up a “showcase for future zero-carbon urban developments” across the street from the Harold Washington Library. It will then pick the finalists it likes best and ask them for proposals. The winner will be announced next year.