444 North Dearborn Advances to Plan Commission – Proposal Will Construct $15M Fire House with Private Funds

This month, EC42 Developer LLC [Friedman Properties], will appear before Chicago Plan Commission to present their proposal located at 444 North Dearborn Street. The hearing will be held on October 18th at 10AM, in City Council Chambers located at 121 North LaSalle, 2nd Floor.

This summer, Alderman Reilly and the River North Residents Association (RNRA) co-hosted two community meetings for this project. The RNRA has issued a letter of support for the project.

The proposal includes plans to construct a new firehouse for City of Chicago Engine Co. 42, funded completely by the developer, which would save Chicago taxpayers over $15,000,000. Subsequently, the developer proposes to demolish the existing firehouse and construct a new 455 foot tall (614,648 SF) commercial tower at the southwest corner of North Dearborn Street and West Illinois Street.

All loading for the new tower will occur through the alley to the south of the site, which will be managed by a full time dockmaster. Ambulances and smaller Chicago Fire Department (CFD) vehicles will be able to access the new Fire Station through the alley, something that is not possible today.

CFD will also have the ability to control the traffic lights at both the Clark & Illinois and Dearborn & Illinois intersections from inside the station, allowing them to flush traffic from the block before exiting for a service call. This modern technology will better control traffic for the safety of residents, as well as allow the CFD to limit use of their sirens to clear the street.

This proposal includes the creation of a Planned Development, incorporating the properties on the block bounded by Clark, Illinois, Dearborn, and Hubbard Streets. The Planned Development would transfer the development rights for the properties in the PD to the office tower, ensuring that no other property on the block will ever be developed past its current height.

If the proposal clears Plan Commission, it will advance to the Chicago City Council Zoning Committee. If the aldermen in this committee vote in favor of the proposal, it will then appear before the full City Council for a vote.

For more information, click on the following links to download the presentation packet and traffic study.

Source:  Alderman Reilly Reports 10/5/18