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Sterling Bay To Break Ground On Life Sciences Building In October, Kicking Off Lincoln Yards Mega-Development

Sterling Bay will hold a groundbreaking for the eight-story life sciences building in Bucktown in October.

A rendering shows what Sterling Bay's ALLY building will look like along the Chicago River.
Provided/Sterling Bay/Gensler
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BUCKTOWN — Sterling Bay will break ground on its first Lincoln Yards building — a life sciences center dedicated to Chicago’s biotechnology needs — in October.

Developers from Sterling Bay announced Thursday they will start construction on ALLY, an eight-story life sciences-focused office building at 1229 W. Concord Place, in October. Sterling Bay leaders initially planned to launch the process early this year. An official groundbreaking ceremony will be announced soon.

The 320,000-square-foot building is planned for the southwest end of the 55-acre Lincoln yards mega-development. It will feature 280,000 square feet of medical research labs and creative office space, according to a Sterling Bay news release.

“ALLY at 1229 W. Concord Place — and the forthcoming innovation district at Lincoln yards — will meet the needs of today’s most exciting and rapidly expanding life sciences companies, create a new home for scientific research in Chicago and help the city continue to build its reputation as a major player in this critically important sector,” Sterling Bay CEO Andy Gloor said in the news release.

Credit: Provided/Sterling Bay/Gensler
Sterling Bay’s ALLY life sciences building will feature 280,000 square feet of medical research labs and creative office space.

The ALLY building will also feature 128 feet of frontage along the Chicago River, conferencing and collaboration space, private balconies on every floor and amenities like a fitness center on the first two floors, according to its website.

Global architecture firm Gensler will be the lead designer on the project, “creating an environment that feels light, bright and wellness-driven,” according to Sterling Bay.

The building will also have 55 enclosed parking spaces in the basement and more than 100 bike storage racks, according to its website.

The building will be funded by a $125 million construction loan from a partnership with Harrison Street, a leading investment management firm focused on alternative real assets, and J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives, according to the news release.

“Lincoln Yards is close to several of Chicago’s most notable medical research institutions, and we are excited to expand our partnership with Sterling Bay to deliver high-quality, Class-A lab space that will support Chicago’s growing life sciences market,” Mark Burkemper, senior managing director and head of North American transactions at Harrison Street, said in the news release.

Lincoln Yards is a controversial $6 billion mega-development along the North Branch of the Chicago River. The project’s footprint encompasses both Bucktown and Lincoln Park.

Neighboring residents, business owners and activists fought the project during months of hotly contested debates. But City Council voted to approve $1.3 billion in subsidies for Lincoln Yards in April 2019.

The Lincoln Yards TIF district, named 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.

These projects:

  • New bridges over the Chicago River.
  • A new Metra station.
  • An extension of the Bloomingdale Trail (The “606” park system).
  • Water taxis.
  • Dedicated bicycle lanes.
  • A potential light-rail transit way and extension of the city’s street grid.

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