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Community Groups Sue City To Block $900 Million Lincoln Yards TIF

The controversial TIF for the Lincoln Yards development was approved by the City Council last week.

As a lame-duck City Council signed off on nearly $2 billion in tax subsidies for developers, five newly elected aldermen protested outside.
United Working Families
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DOWNTOWN — Community groups are suing the city over the $900 million Lincoln Yards TIF approved last week.

Raise Your Hand and the Grassroots Collaborative are suing the city, saying it didn’t satisfy the state’s requirements for creating a new tax increment financing district. City Council voted 32-13 for the TIF, passing it, even as activists and newly elected aldermen protested the development and taxpayer subsidies outside.

“The lawsuit challenges the City’s racially and ethnically discriminatory administration of the TIF system which has disproportionately benefited areas in majority-White census tracts to the detriment of areas in majority-African American and majority-Hispanic census tracts,” the groups said in a Tuesday news release.

The groups will hold a news conference about the lawsuit Wednesday morning at the Daley Center.

Lincoln Yards is a controversial $6 billion project that aims to turn 55 acres along the North Branch of the Chicago River into a new neighborhood with housing and retail.

The Cortland and Chicago River TIF will generate at least $900 million to cover the cost of infrastructure projects to pave the way for Lincoln Yards to be built, including new bridges over the Chicago River, a new Metra station, an extension of the 606 trail, water taxis, dedicated bicycle lanes as well as a potential light-rail transit way and extension of the city’s street grid.

Lincoln Yards is set to include 600 affordable housing units as part of the development.