Public Meeting on the Future of Wolf Point Tomorrow (May 29) at 5:30pm

Wolf Point is one of the most historically significant parts of the Chicago area, as  Roosevelt Professor Mike Bryson can tell you in his fall offering of SUST 220 Water.  It is also the subject of fierce debate over potential development, and developers will face the public at a community meeting starting at 5:30pm tomorrow (May 29) in the Wolf Point Ballroom of the Holiday Inn, 350 W. Mart Center Drive (the Holiday Inn just behind Wolf Point).

With battle lines forming over a planned three-tower development at the historic but underutilized Wolf Point site along the Chicago River, Ald. Brendan Reilly announced Tuesday that he has told the project’s developers to present their plans at a May 29 community meeting.

Those plans–prepared by New Haven, Conn. architect Cesar Pelli for the owners of the site, the Kennedy family, and their developer, Hines–call for a 525-foot-tall residential tower and two mixed-use high-rises, according to Reilly. One would be 900 feet tall, the other 750 feet tall.

A group that calls itself Friends of Wolf Point already has met with the alderman and expressed fear that the project will lead to a dramatic increase in traffic congestion. The high-rises are also likely to block views of the RiverBend condo tower at 333 N. Canal St….

“Given the prominence of this property and the number of inquiries my office has received about the future development of this site, I have directed Hines Development Corporation and their team to start our community review process early, even before they take the initial step of filing a formal application with the City of Chicago,” Reilly wrote in the email….

In the 1830s, Wolf Point was a focal point of pioneer Chicago, home to taverns, trading posts and a hotel. Currently, however, the site consists of a surface parking lot with a narrow riverwalk.

“Everyone was anticipating that that would be the center of the city,” said Tim Samuelson, Chicago’s cultural historian. But “it turned out that not much happened on that site when you consider its prominence.”

Reilly’s email offered new details about plans for the four-acre site at 350 N. Orleans St.:

–The 525-foot-tall residential tower, to be located on the site’s western portion, would contain 510 units and 200 parking spaces.

–The 900-foot-tall mixed-use tower, which would rise on the southern part of the site, would contain 600 units and 885 parking spaces. Reilly’s email did not specify whether the units would be residential.

–The 750-foot-tall mixed-use tower, planned for the eastern side of the site, would contain 200 parking spots. A number of units was not specified.

Professor Bryson will offer SUST 220 Water as a hybrid course online, in Schaumburg, and with select field experiences.  For information on enrolling in future semesters of this or any other of our courses, visit our Sustainability Studies website, call 1-877-277-5978 (1-877-APPLY RU) or email applyRU@roosevelt.edu.

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