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New Zoning Rules Would Open The Door For Residential Development In Long Off-Limits Stretch Of Fulton Market

The alderman has long eschewed residential development north of Lake Street, but a new measure could lift the de facto ban for a small portion of Fulton Market.

The Fulton Market sign.
West Central Association
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FULTON MARKET — As Fulton Market has evolved from a manufacturing district into a hub for offices over the last decade, a new zoning amendment would officially allow residential developments north of Lake Street.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot introduced an amendment at last week’s City Council meeting that would allow residential construction within the former Near West Side Planned Manufacturing District. That would impact properties within the Kinzie Corridor Overlay District, which has prohibited residential uses. The area is bound by Ogden Avenue, Carroll Avenue, Hubbard Street, Halsted and Wayman streets.

The plan would fall in line with recently-discussed updates to the Fulton Market Innovation District, city officials said.

That plan calls for the expansion of residential development north of Lake Street, with 30 percent affordable housing and infrastructure investments supporting pedestrian-friendly amenities.

In an email, Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) said this measure would make housing north of Lake “official.” Though he opposed residential development in the area for years, the pandemic made him change his mind.

Housing in the area would bring in more residents who could frequent local businesses and kickstart the struggling local economy, he said.

“With the economy going the way it’s going, we’re trying to help to keep the economy going in the city by opening the floodgates to Fulton Market residential development,” Burnett said.

As Fulton Market has developed, “I think it’s ready to balance out now…[to] help the restaurants and stuff survive,” Burnett said at the time. Without residents to prop up businesses, “I think we’re going to fail.”

RELATED: Fulton Market Rush: Banned Until Now, Alderman Wants To Open Floodgates To Apartments And Condos

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