Coordinates: 41°54′58″N 87°39′34″W / 41.916214°N 87.659574°W / 41.916214; -87.659574

Lincoln Yards
ArchitectSkidmore, Owings & Merrill
DeveloperSterling Bay
Technical details
CostUS$6 billion

Lincoln Yards is a mixed-use development project located on the North Side of Chicago between the Lincoln Park and Bucktown neighborhoods. It consists of several high-rises that will include apartments, condos, office, retail, and entertainment.

Lincoln Yards will occupy more than 50 acres of land located on both sides of the North Branch of the Chicago River. It will be bounded by Webster Avenue to the north, Clybourn Avenue to the east, North Avenue to the south, and the Kennedy Expressway to the west.[1]


A. Finkl & Sons Steel operated a mill along a roughly 22-acre lot along the eastern portion of the Chicago River in the Lincoln Park neighborhood from 1902 until it was demolished in 2012.[2] The Lincoln Park location was Chicago's oldest steel mill.[3] In 2006, it bought the site of the former Verson Steel on Chicago's South Side.[4] It was purchased by a German company in 2008, and has since operated from that location.[5] Since the demolition, there have been various proposals to connect the site to the popular Bloomingdale Trail.[6][7][8]

In 2016, real estate developer company Sterling Bay purchased the Lincoln Park site for a sum over $100 million[9] and renamed the site "Lincoln Yards".[10] The developer released plans designed by Chicago-based architectural firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill in July 2018.[11] In exchange for an increase in density to allow for the substantial construction, Sterling Bay is to pay an $89 million fee and will make infrastructure improvements in the neighborhood to ease the increase in traffic.[11] Sterling Bay estimates the entire development will take up to ten years to complete when construction begins.[12]

The development was to also include a stadium and a concert venue. Thomas Ricketts, owner of the Chicago Cubs, owns a stake in the stadium. A Live Nation music venue was also proposed.[13] Some local residents indicated they did not want a stadium or a venue.[14] In early 2019, a Chicago alderman suggested that the development include more parkland and green space instead.[15]

Revised plans, released in January 2019, no longer included the stadium but instead incorporated more green space, roughly doubling the amount of space previously dedicated to parks.[16] Ten aldermen out of the city's 50 aldermen declared their opposition to financing the revised project with $900 million of tax increment financing, arguing that more affordable housing should be provided on-site.[17] However, with these changes to the plan, the development moved forward.[18]

In April 2019, Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot told the Chicago Sun-Times that her staff would, during her first post-election weekend, spend time examining the city's 600-page agreement with Sterling Bay regarding the development, believing that the city could reach a better deal.[19] However, later that month the Chicago City Council approved plans for Lincoln Yards, including a tax increment financing agreement.[20]

In 2019, a lawsuit filed against using over 1.3 billion dollars of TIF funds to pay for the development was filed but was unsuccessful.[21]

In 2019, Mayor Lightfoot announced that an advisory council may monitor the site and proposed developments.[22]

Potential tenants

The development was one of the proposed locations that could have hosted the second headquarters of Amazon if the company chose Chicago.[23][24] Amazon representatives toured the site in 2017.[25] Amazon ultimately split their proposal in half between two other locations.[26][27]


  1. ^ "Lincoln Yards: Vision". Lincoln Yards. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  2. ^ "Sterling Bay completes deal for massive Finkl Steel site". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  3. ^ "Manufacturing Consent: Chicago's Oldest Steel Mill Will Soon Be Demolished. What Will Replace It When It's Gone?". Dispatches From The Rust Belt. Belt Magazine. 2015-01-20. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  4. ^ "A. Finkl & Sons buys Verson Steel's South Side site". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  5. ^ "Finding Finkl's Future". Chicago Tonight. WTTW. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  6. ^ "Alderman's Plan to Extend 606 Trail Faces Numerous Challenges". Chicago Tonight. WTTW. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  7. ^ "Developer Buys Finkl Steel Site As Hope To Expand The 606 Takes Root". Chicagoist. Archived from the original on 2017-02-24. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  8. ^ Ori, Ryan. "From warehouse to penthouse: Finkl site, industrial corridor ready for makeover". Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  9. ^ "Sterling Bay completes deal for massive Finkl Steel site". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  10. ^ "Sterling Bay Woos Amazon HQ With Renamed Finkl Steel Site — Lincoln Yards". DNAinfo Chicago. Archived from the original on 2017-11-12. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  11. ^ a b Kamin, Blair (22 July 2018). "Lincoln Yards plan: Bold, ambitious and not yet a good neighbor". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  12. ^ Koziard, Jay (22 July 2018). "How the $5B Lincoln Yards megaproject will transform Chicago's North Branch". Curbed. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  13. ^ Kozlarz, Jay (17 May 2018). "Lincoln Yards developer teams up with Live Nation for riverfront entertainment district". Curbed.
  14. ^ Freund, Sara (7 January 2019). "Neighbors don't want a Lincoln Yards soccer stadium, survey says". Curbed.
  15. ^ Freund, Sara (8 January 2019). "Alderman rejects Lincoln Yards entertainment district, soccer stadium". Curbed.
  16. ^ Koziard, Jay (14 January 2018). "Latest Lincoln Yards plan replaces stadium with more park space, roads, and buildings". Curbed.
  17. ^ Cherone, Heather (1 February 2019). "10 Aldermen Vow To Oppose Lincoln Yards As New Zoning Chair Pushes For More Affordable Housing". Block Club Chicago. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  18. ^ Sisson, Patrick (5 February 2019). "Can megadevelopments serve the whole city?". Curbed. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  19. ^ Spielman, Fran (6 April 2019). "Lori Lightfoot says city can get a better deal from Lincoln Yards developer". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  20. ^ Byrne, John (April 10, 2019). "City Council Approves Lincoln Yards, the 78 Deals after Developer Concessions". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  21. ^ "Fight to Stop $1.3 Billion Tax Subsidy for Lincoln Yards Returns to Court". 10 September 2019.
  22. ^ "Lincoln Yards to get 'robust' resident involvement, Lightfoot says". 19 December 2019.
  23. ^ "Developers showcase $5 billion Lincoln Yards project along Chicago River". Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  24. ^ "How the $5B Lincoln Yards megaproject will transform Chicago's North Branch". Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  25. ^ "SNEED EXCLUSIVE: Amazon reps visit old Finkl Steel site on North Side". Chicago Sun-Times. 2017-11-20. Retrieved 2017-11-26.
  26. ^ Stevens, Laura; Calvert, Scott; Hobbs, Tawnell D. (November 4, 2018). "Amazon in Late-Stage Talks With Cities Including Crystal City, Va., Dallas, New York City for HQ2". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  27. ^ Stevens, Laura; Morris, Keiko; Honan, Katie (November 13, 2018). "Amazon Picks New York City, Northern Virginia for Its HQ2 Locations". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 13, 2018.