Comments from the "CMH Redevelopment Coalition"

The Children's Memorial Hospital Redevelopment Coalition has asked that the following be included in discussions and as part of the record. The following is their statement.

Response to the CMH Site Re-Use Feasilility Study prepared by HOK

The Children's Memorial Hospital Site Re-use Feasibility Study Handbook prepared by HOK is informative but it does not include any specific requirements for development. The Children's Memorial Hospital Redevelopment Coalition requests the following specific requirements be added to any RFP that is let to interested developers:

1) The handbook notes "The importance of a flexible development plan" and the need to include "Housing for a variety of income levels" which are both important points that are supported by the community; throughout the community-wide meetings and break-out sessions there was consistent support for workforce/senior housing. This support reiterated the 2006 Affordable Housing Referendum that the Lincoln Park electorate passed overwhelmingly. With respect to this issue, The CMH Redevelopment Coalition calls for a mandate to provide a minimum of 20% "affordable housing" as part of any new housing developed on the Children's site.

"Affordable housing" is defined as housing available for residents earning 30-80% of AMI, or $22,200-59,000, for rental housing, and 80-100% of AMI, or $59,000-74,000, for for-sale housing. The goal is to provide a variety of housing options for young people, young families, people working in the community, and elderly and disabled residents, and to create a significant amount of new rental housing. In-lieu of contributions to the Chicago Affordable Housing Trust Fund is not an acceptable alternative to affordable on-site units.

The CMH Redevelopment Coalition would be pleased to assist the Alderman in exploring and securing financing possibilities to ensure that affordability goals can be achieved.

2) The many historic structures on the site are of particular concern and interest to the community. Developers should prioritize adaptive re-use for housing as a development option wherever feasible, particularly with Kohl's House, Nellie A. Black + James Deering Building, and the Martha Wilson Memorial Pavilion. The Boiler House + Laundry, the Annex Building, and the White Elephant Resale Shop are also important buildings with considerable nostalgic and aesthetic support in the community. It is expected that any developer will consider the options for Kohl's House, Nellie A. Black and Martha Wilson carefully and the Alderman provide necessary parking amnesty or alternatives in order to allow the buildings to be re-used. The existing garage should be considered in determining parking requirements.

3) Nowhere in the handbook is there any mention of specific zoning requirements or limitations. Prior to any RFP, it is critical that community representatives have an opportunity to preview and discuss the zoning potential of the site with the Alderman and are allowed sufficient time and access to information in order to respond to development options. Moreover, any planned development ordinance should include detailed community agreements as to use, density, etc.

4) The feasibility study offers "morphologies" that are only suggested as general conceptual planning principals. It would be in the interest of the neighborhood if those concepts were more specifically linked to the proposal.

Traffic, architectural character, streetscape, parking and density are all issues of concern to the residents. For instance, there is a considerable variety of opinion regarding the need and/or desire for tall buildings. It is critical that the Alderman and CMH representatives present zoning studies that clarify the relationships among building height, total unit count, density, traffic and affordable housing choice prior to offering a public RFP for a new development at the CMH site.

5) While the report shows an appreciation for green building practices, there are no clear suggestions for building sustainably at the Children's Memorial redevelopment site. Our suggestion would be to promote green, sustainable, and smart growth principles. We also request a minimum green standard that should apply to all contruction and renovation on this site, and that the selected standard should be the LEED rating system mentioned in the study.

With sustainable building being a clear goal for future development in our neighborhood, we feel that requesting that all buildings on the site be certified at a minimum level of LEED Silver is reasonable. There is documenatation showing that for most commercial buildings, achieving the LEED Silver standard does not increase the construction budget. In addition, LEED certified buildings also show impressive savings over the operational life of the building.

Buildings pursuing LEED certification are also eligible to go through the Chicago Green Permit program, which typically allows for faster building permits as well as a significant reduction in permit fees, which would benefit the developer.

This amendment is respectfully submitted to Alderman Vi Daley for inclusion in the HOK Report, which will be distributed to the real estate broker representing Children's Memorial Hospital, as well as potential developers of the site.


The Children's Memorial Hospital Redevelopment Coalition

Helene Berlin
Liz Brake
Alan Cravitz
The Rev. Jeffrey Doane, Pastor of Lincoln Park Presbyterian
Lisa Elkins
Sarah Flosi
Deirdre Graziano
Tom Henry, Senior Pastor, St. Pauls United Church of Christ
Jane Addams Senior Caucus
Debra Krause
Pete Landon
Kathleen Moore
Sheila Sachnoff
Fr. Ken Simpson, Pastor, St. Clements Church
Curtis Smith, President, Lakeview Action Coalition
Michele Smith
Garth Taylor


I just don't get the idea of affordable housing push. A small section of people voting for 2006 Affordable Housing Referendum doesn’t make it overwhelmingly supported by Lincoln Park electorate.

I am not sure who selected members of redevelopment coalition? Looks like a self-serving group.

April 2, 2010 at 3:38 PM  

Just catching up here. This site can't be all things to all people. Affordable Housing Referendum makes no sense, sounds self serving, apt to serious complaints. Tons of retail isn't a great idea either, loads of empty store fronts everywhere in the neighborhood.

A Supermarket (Fox and Obel rumored), doctor's offices, senior living, and some much needed green space. Then, everybody gets something.

Just don't go overboard... retail, affordable housing, excessive construction. Just asking for trouble.

August 2, 2010 at 2:42 PM  

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