Get us in your inbox

Search

A U of I innovation center could anchor a massive new South Loop development

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long
Advertising

A portion of 62 acres of riverfront property in the South Loop could soon host the University of Illinois Discovery Partners Institute, a public-private innovation center that would conduct research in a variety of fields. According to the Chicago Tribune, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is supporting the project, with the aim of bringing the research prowess of U of I's Urbana-Champaign campus to Chicago. The report also states that Northwestern University and the University of Chicago will be partners in the project.

The plot of land between Roosevelt Road and 16th Street, which is owned by developer Related Midwest, is also being eyed as a potential site for Amazon's second headquarters, should the internet retailer decide to set up shop in Chicago. If the Discovery Partners Institute comes to fruition, it could be surrounded by commercial buildings, residential buildings and some picturesque landscaping, as depicted in renderings released by Related Midwest. As the largest undeveloped plot of land near the Loop, there's more than enough room for multiple tenants.

Don't expect a new neighborhood to pop up in the South Loop anytime soon. In a previous interview with the Tribune, a Related Midwest representative stated that the ambitious project could take more than 15 years to complete, at a cost of billions of dollars. Governor Rauner recently proposed using money from a potential sale of the Thompson Center to kickstart the innovation center—if he's able to shore up additional financial support, the U of I–led project could be the first domino to fall, triggering further development of the massive parcel of South Loop land.

Want more? Sign up to stay in the know.

Latest news

    Advertising