Initial site development work has started on Related Midwest’s The 78 development on the Chicago River’s south branch.
The 62-acre vacant lot will be turned into a $7 billion mega-development, with 13 million sq. ft. of new retail, commercial and residential structures, the public-private Discovery Partners Institute and a seven acre park.
Curbed Chicago reports that “crews operating half a dozen bulldozers were digging through patches of soil on the northwest side of the site adjacent to the river” in late June.
Chicago City council approved the development in April, including a $700 million Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district — with $364 million to relocate Metra tracks, a new Red Line station, and improvements on Clark Street.
There will also be a new Wells-Wentworth Connector to directly connect the Loop and Chinatown by roadway, which Related expects to complete by the end of next year. The developer did not provide a timeline to build the entire project.