Concert venue

Massive One Central development plans call for a concert hall, shops and restaurants near Soldier Field

The developer behind the $ 20 billion One Central development project revealed details of the first phase of the project: a transit hub surrounded by approximately 1.4 million square feet of retail space , dining and entertainment on a 35 acre site above the railroad tracks near Soldier Field.

The One Central’s full plans, unveiled in 2019, include up to 22.3 million square feet of buildings with no less than 9,050 residential units and 9.45 million square feet of office space. The project still needs city and state approval, and Landmark President Bob Dunn has said he plans to submit a zoning application by late October or early November.

The $ 3.8 billion first phase, which Landmark calls the “Civic Build,” includes a transit hub connecting Metra, Amtrak and CTA trains and a new bus or streetcar line stopping at destinations like Soldier Field, Navy Pier, Museum Campus, Grant and Millennium. parks and McCormick Center.

It would also be surrounded by approximately 1.4 million square feet of entertainment, dining and retail options, divided into four neighborhoods. Dunn said that these types of amenities are not readily available to people visiting these sites today.

“A convention center today is only competitive if I can walk out the front door and get to the things that define the city – restaurants, entertainment venues, concert halls, and so on. “, did he declare.

Renderings show the transit hub would connect to an approximately 400,000 square foot “experiential quarter”, with a 50,000 square foot event floor intended to host programs such as community celebrations, game day hatchbacks. , corporate events or exhibitions accompanying conventions at McCormick Place. Around this area, Landmark is planning facilities including a digital media center that could accommodate live broadcasts on game days, a dining hall and attractions showcasing Chicago’s sports teams, museums and music.

Whether these tailgaters are Chicago Bears fans is less clear. The team signed a purchase contract for Arlington International Racecourse last month, bringing them one step closer to their departure from Soldier Field. Dunn has previously said he doesn’t think the potential departures of the teams “affect our plans in any significant way.”

Plans for a 275,000 square foot “neighborhood neighborhood” north of the transit hub include shops and restaurants, including a grocery store and a public market for the “dramatically underserved” South Loop neighborhood, Dunn said. .

South of the transit hub would be a 310,000 square foot “lifestyle district” focused on health and wellness, including a health club, ambulatory health center, spa and space. retail space; and a 435,000 square foot “entertainment district” with concert and performance venues, nightclubs, bars and restaurants.

“We are focused on building an urban ecosystem that will meet the demand of residents and consumers of tomorrow,” he said.

Dunn said Landmark could move forward on One Central “in a matter of months” if it receives city and state approval, including about $ 6.5 billion in state funding. over 20 years which would eventually see the State appropriate the transit center, the related infrastructures and the experiential district.

The remaining neighborhoods and 200,000 square feet of mid-rise residential structures would be privately developed adjacent to the transit hub in the initial phase of development, Landmark said.

Dunn said the $ 3.8 billion Civic Build was fully funded by Landmark, the Chicago-based insurance and investment firm Ullico, Loop Capital and Johnson Controls, whose technology would be integrated into buildings, but which still needs state funding to continue.

A spokesperson for Gov. JB Pritzker previously said the governor’s office had not seen a study on public transport showing a transit hub was needed and that city approval would be required before the state does not act.

Dunn said the transit study has since been completed and argued that additional infrastructure will be needed to accommodate the city’s growth. He also highlighted its potential for job creation on the South Side. According to a Landmark study commissioned from infrastructure consultancy AECOM, the project would create around 19,000 construction jobs, 68,000 permanent jobs at One Central when completed and up to 70,000 elsewhere on the South Side.

Earlier this month, Landmark announced a partnership with the Chicago Urban League that includes nearly $ 500 million in community investment, including a $ 50 million fund to help minority and women-owned businesses secure the capital they need to bid for contracts on One Central.

It could be “transformative” for those companies, who “never really got the chance to do big things,” said Jim Reynolds, CEO of Loop Capital Markets, who said he was drawn to the project by its efforts. to include residents on the south and west sides.

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