Tag Archives: Brownfields

Chicago to Redevelop Former Steel Site

The former US Steel South Works in South Chicago will be redeveloped, The New York Times reports.

The “ambitious” $4 billion plan will remake the 470-acre site with homes, a marina, commercial space and a school, the paper reports. It is the largest undeveloped parcel in the city.

You can learn more about the history of the site here; take a look at the before and after photos from the mill’s heyday (below).

This history site notes that 20,000 people once worked at the mill, which closed in 1992 after operating 110 years. It also notes that plans to redevelop the site have come and gone.

There is reason to be skeptical this plan will come to fruition. The Times notes, “the city is overwhelmed with unsold condos and housing units left over from the housing bubble. ‘We currently have years and years of oversupply,’ said James Kinney, the vice president for luxury sales at Baird & Warner real estate.”

Read more history about the site here and see some Flickr shots here.


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Filed under Economic Development, Featured, Real Estate, The Housing Crisis, Urban Planning

Stimulating the Great Lakes Region

The good people at Great Lakes Urban Exchange convened more than 200 people in Buffalo last month to form a consensus about the best way to direct stimulus money in Great Lakes cities.

The result is summarizied in a letter to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan on the GLUE web site.

Here’s a snippet:

“A specific concern of conferees is that the Obama Administration understand both the scale and the urgency of Great Lakes metros’ challenges.

Brownfields in our older, mainly small- and mid-sized metros are probably never going to become the destinations for housing development, because our metros, unlike larger metros elsewhere in America, suffer from an over-stock of housing. Other opportunities to use these sites exist.

Preference should be given whenever possible to programs and projects that re-use these brownfields, so that the federal government does not continue to encourage greenfield development and perpetuate sprawl.

Yet precisely because our Great Lakes metros have the unique wealth of Great Lakes proximity, relatively small ARRA investments–if implemented by metro region and not by city, town or village–hold the promise of tremendous long-term economic benefit.”

Good job, guys. Here’s hoping that they listen.


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Filed under Featured, Politics