New Development Coming to Chicago

Chicago officials reveal that their new $7 billion investment is well underway in the next coming years.

Previously used as a rail yard in the early 70's, this empty lot east of the University of Illinois at Chicago campus has been an unoccupied space since the late 1970's. It wasn't until 2016, that Related Midwest (a real estate developer) announced that they had plans for the more than 50-year vacant lot. This would also be the largest undertaking the midwest real estate developer has done in Chicago history, according to the president Curt Bailey in a Chicago Tribune interview. Finally, in 2018, they unveiled their official plans for the space calling it the 78! It is named the 78 because Chicago already has 77 neighborhoods, and this new development would be the 78th. 



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With 62 acres in the heart of Chicago, this new neighborhood will be relatively close to the University of Illinois at Chicago campus. This new neighborhood is positioned east of Little Italy and Pilsen and west of the South Loop. 


Meet the 78 Team who is making the project possible!

  • Community Inclusion Council
  • F. H. Paschen
  • Gensler
  • Hunden Strategic Partners
  • Jacobs Companies
  • Jenson Hughes
  • KLOA Kenig, Lindgren, O’Hara, Aboona, Inc.
  • Knight E/A Inc.
  • Pioneer Realty Group
  • Site Design
  • SOM Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
  • University of Illinois System

The innovation will consist of 13 million square feet of new housing, retail, restaurants, and cultural attractions. They also plan to extend the Riverwalk for another ½ of a mile, as well as a new CTA red line, extensions of several existing streets, and construction of three new roads. The city estimates this area will create jobs for 24,000 people. It will also include a University of Illinois led innovation center funded by the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) which will service 2,000 students annually.

Not only will the 78 be a new urban hub but it will also have 7-acres of lush, green park. They plan to call it Crescent Park and it will extend just along the riverfront. More than 40% of the 78 neighborhood will be greenery or public open space.

Governor JB Pritzker plans to release $500 million in state funding as well as $230 million in private funding raised by the university to match the states contribution towards the new development.

Constuction of the innovation center, per DPI, is scheduled to begin in the next 12 months. Related Midwest states that the rest of the ground-breaking project will begin early 2021 and hopes to complete the overall first phase, of which will cost $2 billion alone, by 2024. To read more about this exciting development, check out their website here.