Groundbreaking Ceremony For The Lincoln Common Kicks Off Construction

Posted on May 04, 2017

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Co-developers Hines and McCaffery Interests today held a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction of The Lincoln Common, a mixed-use project located on the former Children’s Memorial Hospital site. The developers were joined by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Michele Smith, guests from neighborhood organizations and Lurie Children’s Hospital.

“The Lincoln Common continues Lincoln Park’s longstanding legacy of community innovation, partnership and investment,” Mayor Emanuel said. “The final plan we are breaking ground on today not only supports the City’s affordable housing goals with more than 50 affordable units on-site and a major investment to support even more affordable housing across the city, but also reflects Alderman Smith’s request to the developer for additional passive open space in the Lincoln Park community.”

“The development promises to provide a vital economic anchor in the heart of our neighborhood,” said Alderman Michele Smith (43rd). “I'm very grateful for the continued care and utmost professionalism that McCaffery Interests, Hines and W.E. O'Neil has shown to our community in ensuring the construction has been staged in a careful manner, and we look forward to the completion of the project as it will create a new crossroads in Lincoln Park.”

The Lincoln Common will be a vibrant new anchor to the Lincoln Park neighborhood, delivering four complementary product types which will create a dynamic live-work-play environment. The architecture firms Skidmore Owings and Merrill and Antunovich Associates have collaborated on the master plan. Two new glass residential buildings will be the centerpieces of the development, featuring 538 modern apartment homes. The Lincoln Common will also bring 94,000 square feet of exciting dining and retail space to the neighborhood, 47,000 square feet of boutique loft office space, and 40 for-sale condominiums. The development will provide the Lincoln Park community with 67,000 square feet of open public and park space in total - over 10,000 square feet more than in the originally approved plan.

Dan McCaffery, CEO of McCaffery Interests, commented, “The Lincoln Common features a strong blend of historic preservation with bold new architecture. In addition, we have increased the size and scope of the landscaped areas and public spaces all within the footprint of the existing planned development.”

The Lincoln Common's diverse architectural features represent an authentic urban fabric that connects the site’s history with its future. Hines Senior Managing Director Jim Walsh noted, “We revised and improved the development plan to enhance the public experience. We’ve made a very strong commitment to the historic nature of the site and our team has an aligned vision to deliver an asset that will enhance the community.”

The development plan for Lincoln Avenue maintains the former “Laundry Building” and “Boiler House” brick-façade structures designed by Holabird & Roche in 1931. The beloved “White Elephant” building, designed by Loewenberg and Loewenberg in 1925, will also be preserved and repurposed. Additionally, the plan will preserve and incorporate the architecturally significant 1890s vintage “Dental Professionals of Lincoln Park” façade at 2358 N. Lincoln. The project team also intends to preserve the architectural portico of the former Martha Wilson building and return it as a feature within a large landscaped memorial garden accessible off Fullerton Parkway.

A modern multi-story retail building planned for the west side of Lincoln Avenue has been replaced by a five-story brick-façade office building, designed in the style of a vintage loft structure. This architectural style better complements the existing historic buildings along Lincoln where historic preservation is strongly represented. While the building formerly known as The Annex has been demolished due to physical disrepair, it will be recreated as part of the new plan.

In March, general contractor W.E. O’Neill completed demolition of the existing hospital structure on the six-acre site, located at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue, Fullerton Parkway and Halsted Street. Ninety-nine percent (99%) of the construction debris was recycled. Vertical construction is planned to begin in the second quarter with initial occupancy in late 2018.