Summer sports, arts program to enliven Lincoln Yards site

After completing an environmental cleanup, developer Sterling Bay plans programs and events that involve local organizations and small businesses.

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A rendering shows the site for Meanwhile at Lincoln Yards.

A rendering shows the site for Meanwhile at Lincoln Yards.

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The developer of Lincoln Yards is opening part of the North Side property this summer for public activities such as a basketball camp, outdoor movies programmed by Chicago’s Davis Theater and artistic performances.

Sterling Bay is calling the effort Meanwhile at Lincoln Yards. It will open July 15 at Ada Street and Concord Place but some activities have already started.

It’s a way to introduce the public to the former brownfield. The programs will occur on part of 53 acres Sterling Bay intends to transform into a mixed-use development. The developer plans an office building for life sciences firms in the project’s first phase.

Noting that environmental work has been completed, Sterling Bay CEO Andy Gloor said Meanwhile at Lincoln Yards will engage “local businesses and creative organizations to see what resonates with and is most impactful to the community.”

A fee will apply to some programs and food and merchandise will be sold, but Sterling Bay said it won’t collect any money. All revenue will support small businesses and nonprofits, the company said.

For example, tickets to the outdoor “movies on the lawn” by the Davis will be $10 each. The showings pick up on last year’s drive-in at Lincoln Yards when the pandemic caused strict limits on public interaction. Films this year will include “Field of Dreams” and “The Wizard of Oz.” The Davis has posted a schedule at davistheater.com/drivein/.

Three new basketball courts will host a youth camp run by Hoopademix, which uses sports programs to combat racism. The programs run weekdays through Aug. 27.

The activities are adjacent to Fleet Fields, soccer fields Sterling Bay opened for free or league play.

The company said Urban Gateways is planning various performances and art exhibits through the summer. An area will be set aside for small merchants and food and drink vendors, with alcohol sales allowed.

Businesses and organizations interested in taking part should email meanwhile@lincolnyards.com.

Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) called the activities “an excellent kickoff to a project that will one day create over 20 new acres of permanent open space along the Chicago River.”

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