by RC Williams
In a follow up to a story that Daily Business News originally covered here, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is “gung ho” about developers planning to build 12,000 modular homes, along with a factory to manufacture them, on the 430-acre site of the old U.S. Steel South Works plant in the city.
The Lakeshore site that will host a factory and 12k modular homes. Credit: Chicago Sun Times.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, top mayoral aides met with developers last week to get the latest updates on the project.
“The mayor told me personally that he is committed to helping this project get off the ground,” said Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza, whose ward also includes the U.S. Steel site.
“The development of 430 acres in his city and the jobs that come with it. Bright and shiny new buildings and new technology. They’re looking at us to be the prototype so people can see this project and . . . [they can] bring this development to other Midwestern cities. The mayor always talks about giving back to the neighborhoods. This is huge. It’s bigger than downtown . . . . We might need another mayor.”
The development is a result of a combination of a deal between steel giant U.S. Steel and prominent developer Dan McCafferty going bad, and a new joint venture between Barcelona Housing Systems and WELink.
Credits: Barcelona Housing Systems, WELink.
As Daily Business News readers are aware, the Barcelona Housing System/WELink joint venture recently partnered with Chinese firm CNBM and announced plans for modular home factories in the U.K.
Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza. Credit: NLG Chicago.
Last Wednesday, principals from the two firms outlined their ambitious plan for Deputy Mayor Steve Koch, Planning and Development Commissioner David Reifman and Buildings Commissioner Judy Frydland.
“The developers talked about being six weeks away from signing a contract with U.S. Steel and about awaiting results of an environmental study of the 430-acre site,” said Garza.
“They have the financing…. They wouldn’t have gotten to this point if they didn’t.”
An aide to Mayor Emanuel said that his enthusiasm for the project is genuine.
“We’re all very excited about it. It seems like a very strong proposal. We are encouraged and supportive of what’s happening,” said the aide.
In addition to building the plant that produces modular materials and modular homes in four phases of 3,000 homes each, the new plan calls for retail and recreational space. For Garza, this is also very important.
“When the mills left, so did the jobs and the restaurants. We were kind of left with a shell of a community,” said Garza.
“We had nine steel mills. At the peak, District 31 had 134,000 steelworkers. Now, if we have 100, I’m being generous. This is very exciting for us. The 10th Ward is on the upswing.” ##
(Image credits are as shown above.)
Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.com.
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