From Industrial to Mixed-Use in Southside Chicago
- Sep 15, 2015
By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor
The first milestone in what will become the Windy City’s new Lakeside mixed-use community has been reached, with the opening of the new Lakeside Heritage Walk in South Chicago.
Made possible through a grant provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Illinois Coastal Management Program, the new walking trail has been completed along the walking path of Steelworkers Park at 87th Street and Lake Michigan. A number of eight six-foot tall educational trail signs have been installed, providing information to community members about the city’s industrial heritage and the evolution of the Lake Michigan shoreline. The signs illustrate the rich history of Steelworkers Park—Chicago’s first lakefront park—and South Works, the city’s first steel mill.
“The Lakeside Heritage Walk will provide the skills, knowledge and inclination to understand what environmental and habitat improvements have been and will be made at the location’s redeveloped brownfields and industrial sites,” Benjamin Cox, president of Friends of the Forest Preserves, said.
Cox also explained that that the new trail will help make connections to forest preserve sites nearby, and will increase interconnected lakefront open space.
The result of a collaboration between McCaffery Interests, U.S. Steel Corp., Friends of the Forest Preserves, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the Lakeside Heritage Walk is part of a 600-acre new mixed-use development that is currently underway at the site of the former U.S. Steel South Works mill. A long-term joint venture between Site Developer McCaffery and Owner U.S. Steel, the new Lakeside community will incorporate a mix of residential, retail and commercial space, a new high school, and a 1,500-slip marina. Upon completion, the development is expected to be larger than Chicago’s Loop business district. The project has also been recognized as a Top Sustainable Solution at the Rio+20 conference in Rio de Janeiro back in 2012.
Image courtesy of Chicago Lakeside Development Facebook page