The Chicago Housing Authority and Target, the big-box retailer, appear to have reached a deal that would allow for a giant new store to be built on the former site of one of the world's most notorious housing projects.
With the demolition of the final building in the Cabrini-Green complex, the company is seeking to undertake a land-swap deal with the government agency to install a 150,000-square-foot store on the site. It would bring 200 jobs and an investment of between $40 and $60 million.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the store is a cornerstone of the Near North Redevelopment Initiative, the ambitious plan that called for the destruction of the projects and the redevelopment of the area. In order to keep public-housing residents in the neighborhood, Target will purchase land of equal size and value around the neighborhood and give it to the CHA in exchange for the land it's using.
It will also hire at least 75 CHA residents, that paper reports, offering a job fair to tell neighbors about the opportunities it is offering.
The plans were first reported over a month ago, with Alderman Walter Burnett, who represents the Cabrini-Green area, enthusing over the prospect. “I’ll take a Target anywhere in my ward,” he said. “We need some economic development because the economy is bad. There’s nothing happening."
Burnett was still excited about the project this week, according to NBC Chicago, but he planned to seek approval from the neighborhood's residents before moving forward. Some of those residents have concerns about the future of affordable housing, as well as the increased noise and congestion a Target could bring.