Ald. Smith, Emanuel land changes to Lincoln Park Hospital redevelopment
No semi trucks on Webster Street, $60,000 in donations to local school and park
08/02/2011 8:29 PM
The controversial redevelopment of Lincoln Park Hospital at Lincoln Avenue and Webster Street is getting some changes, Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) announced in an email Tuesday night.
Plans for the Webster Square development have long been unpopular with the project’s neighbors, but one of the biggest concerns about the plan — heavy truck traffic from a proposed Fresh Market grocery store — is at the center of the resolution.
Semi trucks will be banned entirely from Webster Street under the new plan, according to the email from Smith. Instead, all trucks for the site will use a closed-off loading dock area that can only be entered from Lincoln Avenue.
On top of that, the new plan markedly reduces the project’s density. The new proposal takes out 50,000 square feet of planned office space on Geneva Terrace and replaces it with apartments that will have free parking inside the building. A 40-unit residential building on Grant Place will also be reduced to eight single-family rowhouses.
As for businesses beyond the grocery store, no retail or restaurants will be allowed on the north side of Webster Avenue, Smith said.
She also said the developer has agreed to donate $40,000 to Lincoln Elementary School and $20,000 to Oz Park.
Smith made blocking or modifying Lincoln Park Hospital’s redevelopment a key part of her campaign for alderman earlier this year, differentiating herself from her main opponent Tim Egan.
But while early efforts to block the project appeared to be fruitless (attempts to ban sales of liquor on the block and rezone it to kill anything but residential uses both flopped in City Council) this deal was apparently brokered over the last several months with the help of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“After lengthy negotiations since April, I’m pleased to announce that the developers of the Lincoln Park Hospital site have made important concessions to significantly address traffic concerns on Webster Street and mitigate the development’s impact on the surrounding community,” Smith wrote in an email newsletter sent out Tuesday night.
“I would like to thank Mayor Emanuel and his staff for mediating the conversations with the developer, which I believe has led to a development that is better for our community,” she wrote later in the letter.
A representative for Sandz Development was not available for comment Tuesday night.
The new plan must go back before the city’s plan commission and the full City Council for approval, but with the blessing of both the local alderman and the mayor, it appears to have a clear path to passage.