• SSA 21 Lincoln Square Master Plan
  • What is the Master Plan? The Lincoln Square Master Plan is a guiding document that our Neighborhood Improvement Program and Chamber of Commerce will look to over the next 5-10 years to make strategic decisions on where to spend funds and how to make improvements - big and small - in the Lincoln Square Special Service Area. The nearly 12-month planning process brought together residents, business owners, city stakeholders, and many others to discuss how they envision the neighborhood developing in the near future. The plan was officially adopted by the Neighborhood Improvement Program in 2019.


  • What happened after the plan was adopted? The Lincoln Square Neighborhood Improvement Program continued to work with Teska Associates in 2020 on achieving the goals set forth in the Master Plan. Based on the conceptual design recommendations, the next step of the project was to delve further into the urban design and public place-making opportunities along North Lincoln Avenue, between Foster and Lawrence Avenues.

    Through a partnership with 40th Ward Alder Andre Vasquez, the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD), and Department of Transportation (CDOT), Lincoln Square had the opportunity to transform a section of underutilized roadway into a vibrant people space. The new Ainslie Arts Plaza was developed through CDOT's Make Way for People Program, and will now give us the ability to test an array of initiatives to activate growth in the northern section of Lincoln Square.

    At the start of 2021, a couple of finishing touches took place over at the Ainslie Arts Plaza - including artistic branding, installation of overhead lighting, and landscaping. Once completed, attention moved south a few blocks to the plaza and area surrounding the CTA Western Brown Line Station.

    Based on the conceptual design recommendations in the original Master Plan, the purpose of the CTA Station Area Study was to delve further into the urban design and public place-making opportunities for the areas in and surrounding the Western Avenue Brown Line 'L' Station.  The area of study was generally defined as the station plaza, bus depot entrance / alley, Chicago Parking Lot #71 (farmers market location), portions of Leland Avenue, and pedestrian walkway underneath the 'L' tracks.


  • What Happened in 2022?  Based on outreach and planning activities in 2021, a Final Concept Plan for the CTA Station Area Study was presented at a public meeting, followed by the circulation of digital versions of the exhibits to obtain additional feedback via an online poll. With significant support from Alder Matt Martin, the CTA Station will receive $8 million in tax increment financing (TIF) towards the implementation of this plan.

    Just north of the CTA Station, groundbreaking for the second phase of the Lawrence Avenue Streetscape project broke ground in 2022 with the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and 40th Ward Alder Andre Vasquez. The streetscape project will extend the streetscape from Western Avenue to the Chicago River and will build upon the success of the first section of the project that occurred a decade ago between Clark Street and Western Avenue. Construction is anticipated to be completed in the summer of 2024. The project aims to improve safety for all users, upgrade aging infrastructure, create a livable street, increase walkability, and support economic development. This improvement will enhance Lawrence Avenue to become walkable and multi-modal.


  • What’s Next in 2023? In January 2023, the Chicago City Council granted approval of a high-profile proposed development at 4715 N Western Avenue. This six-story mixed-use development brings 65 new affordable units and 36 parking spaces across the street from the Brown Line station campus. This development provides Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) found in the Lincoln Square Master Plan that is within the character of Lincoln Square.

    With lots of interest in adding density to Lincoln Square, the question of neighborhood parking supply is heavily considered in future proposed developments. In order to inform decisions made by our community leaders, the Neighborhood Improvement Program (SSA #21) intends to launch a parking study in 2023. This study will create a snapshot of the existing parking demands for residents, customers, and employees and how that stacks up against the neighborhood parking supply. The study will conclude with a report at the beginning of 2024 that will be available to the public.



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