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Vote Stalled For Lincoln Park Hospital Development Plan

CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) -- A plan to put offices, residential units, and a grocery store on the old Lincoln Park Hospital site was stalled at a City Council meeting Wednesday.

As WBBM Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, the proposal is caught in a tug-of-war.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports


Incoming Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) opposes the redevelopment plan. But retiring Ald. Vi Daley supports the plan and pushed for a vote that was delayed by a parliamentary maneuver.

"I've been working on this for over a year and a half, and I did reach out to all the aldermen here and let them know what was going on, and I've had the support of them," Ald. Daley said.

The alderman said the plan should be approved at the May City Council meeting, but Ald. Edward Burke (14th), who helped delay the vote, urges caution.

"That new alderman, of course, could introduce an ordinance to downzone the property; repeal the grant of authority," Burke said. "Wouldn't it be better for everyone if somehow a compromise could be reached?"

Ald. Daley has urged Smith to talk with the developers of the project, Sandz Development Co.

The development, called Webster Square calls for one existing hospital building to be converted into high-rise condo tower, and for a second residential building called "The Flats" to be constructed on the site. The project also calls six floors of medical offices in an existing hospital building.

A Fresh Market grocery store is planned for the old hospital parking garage right across from vintage homes.

Many neighbors have expressed concern about the project, particularly additional traffic congestion and delivery truck traffic for the grocery store on quiet and narrow Webster Avenue. Some neighbors have expressed concern that the store would take business away from Carnival Foods, a small neighborhood grocery store located about a block away at Lincoln, Cleveland and Dickens avenues.

Some neighbors have also argued that the zoning change for the grocery store could pave the way for a big-box store someday, ushering in even more traffic.

Former Ald. Martin Oberman (43rd) said last month if the City Council approved the project, it would not be the final word.

"There's going to be litigation over this project if it goes through as is," Oberman said in March.

The City Council Zoning Committee approved the plan last month.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.


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