Chicago’s Newest Mega Development: North Union

Chicago has seen more than its share of huge developments in recent years. The 78, Riverline, Lincoln Yards, and the River District, are just a few that are already being built, or poised to start filling Chicago’s downtown region with new skyscrapers, homes, offices, and whatnots. The newest name on the roster is “North Union.”

According to the Chicago Tribune, North Union is the flag that JDL Development wants to fly over the property its buying from the Moody Bible Institute near Cabrini Green. The exact boundaries aren’t known yet, as the sale hasn’t gone through. But it should be west of LaSalle Street, north of Chicago Avenue, east of Orleans Street, and south of Hill Street. Or as it’s known on the silver screen: PD477.

Rough outline of PD477.  (Base map via Apple Maps)
Rough outline of PD477. (Base map via Apple Maps)

This dashed line in this image isn’t Billy from Family Circus going in search of the ice cream truck. It’s the kinda-sorta outline of the land in question. The boundaries are actually much more complex than this. But this picture gives you bird’s eye idea of the area in play.

Moody is like a lot of foundational organizations these days. It acquired lots and lots of land just outside of the central business district back in horse-and-buggy days, and now that the city has expanded and times have changed, it finds it would rather have the cash than the property. In Moody’s case, it wants to use the dosh to double its “impact” in the next ten years.

As we re-imagine what a state-of-the-art, urban campus could look like in 2030, we are prayerfully launching an effort to sell some of the non-core portions of our campus real estate to help fund our 2030 growth plan”

Dr. Mark Jobe, President, Moody Bible Institute

What JDL has in mind, according to El Tribirino, is a little under 4,000 new homes and 30,000 square feet of retail space.

There are three code orange buildings in PD477, but none of them are believed to be in the area that is expected to be redeveloped.

Author: Editor

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

Share This Post On