Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot on Sunday night urged the city’s Finance Committee chief to “address major concerns” ahead of Monday’s planned vote on two massive projects, Lincoln Yards and The 78, citing a “deeply flawed process that has led us to this moment.”
“I’m calling on Finance Committee Chairman Patrick O’Connor to make tomorrow’s Finance Committee meeting a subject matter hearing to address major concerns about Lincoln Yards and The 78 on the record and in public view,” Lightfoot said in a statement released Sunday night.
“From day one, I have raised concerns about these deals and the deeply flawed process that has led us to this moment,” Lightfoot said. “That’s why I’m calling for the committee meeting tomorrow to be a transparent and fulsome subject matter hearing to address questions including consequences for other TIF districts, affordable housing options, plans for minority- and women-owned businesses, and impacts on diversity, population density, schools, traffic, and other factors.
“For major development projects to drive equitable economic growth, they must be coupled with community input and a transparent, informed decision-making process,” she said.
Lightfoot told the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday that the city could get a better deal for the $6 billion Lincoln Yards project by increasing the number of affordable housing units, reducing City Hall’s $900 million tax-increment-financing subsidy or both.
Lightfoot told the Chicago Sun-Times that her staff would spend the weekend poring over the 600-page agreement that calls for the city to reimburse developer Sterling Bay for infrastructure work needed for the massive North Side development.
She had hinted strongly she might ask Ald. Pat O’Connor (40th), chairman of the Chicago City Council Finance Committee, to call off a planned vote Monday on the city subsidy for Lincoln Yards.
Contributing: Fran Spielman