The City of Chicago announced a $20.2 million firehouse and mixed-use development proposal that would replace the existing Engine Co. 42 firehouse in River North at the southwest corner of Illinois and Dearborn streets. The city’s Department of Planning and Development commissioner David Reifman announced the proposed plan in the last week of April, saying the old station would be replaced with a tower offering 614,000 square feet of mixed-use space at 55 W. Illinois Street.
The River North project is a public-private deal between the city and Friedman Properties. Friedman would pay the city $5 million to acquire the current facility and alley to construct the proposed development. While the design has yet to be finalized, DLR Group is behind the current renderings.
In order to move forward with the project, the parcel needs to be rezoned from its current DX-7 Downtown Mixed-Use and go through approvals from the community, the Chicago Plan Commission, and City Council. The developer could pay up to $10 million into Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity Bonus system to gain zoning rights.
Friedman Properties already has a large stake in the River North neighborhood, owning 31 commercial properties in the area. The development team would also foot the bill, costing the City of Chicago nothing. The city estimates that it could generate $4.4 million each year in real estate taxes through the project.
“This project has the potential to be a unique partnership that could enhance a prime development location while providing a new home for Chicago’s bravest,” said 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly in a press release. “I look forward to working through the community engagement process to see if we can make this concept a reality at no cost to our taxpayers.”