McCaffery Interests rendering of the USX site, including a possible South Shore Drive reconfiguration.
[This piece also appeared in “Checkerboard City”, John’s weekly transportation column in Newcity magazine, which hits the streets on Wednesday evenings.]
Earlier this month Mayor Emanuel held a press conference at the former U.S. Steel South Works (USX) site, a weed-strewn piece of vacant land bigger than the central Loop, bulging into Lake Michigan from 79th to 92nd. He was there to herald the construction of a new $21 million, four-lane boulevard that will run two miles through the site, intended as the future main street of the proposed Chicago Lakeside Development.
Real estate developer McCaffery Interests hopes to build this upscale community with roughly 13,575 housing units, 17,500,000 square feet of retail and a 1,500-boat marina on the 589-acre site over the next few decades. “This [roadway] effort is part of a push to connect a forgotten, landlocked section of the Southeast Side of Chicago to the rest of the city, increasing its economic value,” Emanuel said. “What was once an eyesore will become an economic engine.”