Mayor Emanuel to delay vote on $2B tax deals for developers of Lincoln Yards, ‘The 78’


Photo Courtesy of Chris Walker and Peter Tsai | Chicago Tribune

The Lincoln Yards site currently stands completed grounded and paved, awaiting Sterling Bay’s development to begin. The people behind the site promise that the community will benefit from increased tourism and opportunities for store owners, but those assurances are not logical when put into perspective.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has agreed at the request of incoming mayor Lori Lightfoot to delay votes on tax packages worth about $2 billion for a pair of development projects.

“In our first meeting, as well as in subsequent conversations, I made it very clear to the mayor-elect that I would not move forward on these projects if she wanted to delay the process,” he said in a statement. “While I firmly believe in the value of these projects to the entire city, out of respect for her wishes and request, I will honor my commitment and delay the vote. I am hopeful that under the mayor-elect’s leadership of the new City Council these critical projects will move forward and bring the kind of investment and job creation that has been a hallmark of the past eight years.”

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot said late Sunday that she wants to slow the process to approve the funding deals for the Lincoln Yards and The 78 projects. She says she wants to look at the proposed deals herself when she’s officially in office next month. Emanuel said he told Lightfoot that he wouldn’t move forward on the projects if she wanted a delay.

Lightfoot has called the process that led to the tax packages “deeply flawed.” Critics have said the projects are in prosperous parts of Chicago and developers should pay for infrastructure improvements, not taxpayers. Emanuel defends the tax deals.