Chicago’s Uptown Officially Opens Wilson Yard

July 20, 2010

Today marked the official grand opening of Wilson Yard, an affordable-housing and retail project in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood that has been more than a decade in the making.

Mayor Daley and friends attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the city's newest Target store on Tuesday.

Mayor Richard Daley and developer Peter Holsten were among the ribbon cutters at the new 180,000-square-foot Target store at 4466 N. Broadway Street in Chicago. The anchor store officially opens on Sunday.

The Wilson Yard development also includes:

*Wilson Yard Senior Apartments, 1032 W. Montrose Ave.: A senior apartment complex with 98 one-bedroom apartments for residents earning at or below 50 percent of the area’s median income.

*The Wilson Yard Apartments, 1026 W. Montrose Ave.: An apartment building with 80 affordable one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments that is currently 70 percent occupied.

*Aldi grocery store, 4554 N. Broadway: The store opened in 2007.

*Ten smaller store spaces: Four with signed tenants and three others in negotiations.

The Wilson Yard development is situated on a former rail yard along Broadway and Montrose Avenue. The site, which was a rail yard since 1901, had sat empty since 1996 when a fire burned down the CTA facility.

It took 12 controversial years to put together the new development. One group of residents called Fix Wilson Yard even filed suit against the project, claiming misuse of TIF funds.

Out of the $151 million it cost to develop the project, $54 million came from the city through Wilson Yard Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds.

All taxes generated from Wilson Yard will be used within the TIF district.

“This development represents one of the best and most important uses of Tax Increment Financing funds today,” said Mayor Daley. “Wilson Yard and this new Target store will serve as an anchor for the Uptown community.”

Wilson Yard, which was developed by Holsten Real Estate Development Corp., will be certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

According to Mayor Daley, approximately 260 temporary and 350 permanent jobs were created through its development.

Daley said $14 million raised from the Wilson Yard TIF also is being used on two other Uptown projects: The renovation of 59 affordable housing units at Clifton-Magnolia Apartments and the construction of a new seven-story student center and parking garage at Truman College.

“Making key investments in our neighborhoods — from building new schools, fire stations and libraries to developing sites for new retail stores and preserving affordable housing — makes for a more stable and secure community,” said Daley.

Wilson Yard

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