SNEED EXCLUSIVE: Amazon reps visit old Finkl Steel site on North Side

Developer Sterling Bay wants to build a residential and commercial development on 28 acres along the Chicago River in Lincoln Park that once housed Finkl Steel (above). Amazon officials were at the site last week, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed has learned. | Sun-Times file photo

A steel of an Amazon deal?

Representatives of mega e-tailer Amazon were at the old Finkl Steel site on the North Side last week taking notes . . . and pictures . . . of the property, according to a top Sneed source.

It marks the first time Amazon representatives have been spotted visiting sites in Chicago, which is vying with other large North American cities to try to land the company’s second headquarters, known as “HQ2.”

Developer Sterling Bay is targeting Amazon as the anchor tenant for its $10 billion mixed-use, riverfront development on the land it’s assembling in Lincoln Park and Bucktown that includes the old steel plant. Together with the vehicle fleet maintenance facility it bought from City Hall for $104.7 million, Sterling Bay hopes to put together nearly 100 acres for its project, called “Lincoln Yards.”

Lincoln Yards is one of 10 sites being presented to Amazon by the state of Illinois. Eight of those sites are in Chicago, including the state-owned Thompson Center office building and the “Downtown Gateway District,” which includes parts of the Willis Tower, Union Station and the now-vacant old main post office. Oak Brook and Schaumburg sites also are in the mix.

More than 600 of the Chicago area’s movers and shakers have signed on to a committee supporting the drive to win the heated competition for Amazon’s $5 billion investment and 50,000 jobs. Illinois is offering more than $2 billion worth of financial incentives for the company to come here.

Stay tuned.

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