Sterling Bay – Lincoln Yards
Sterling Bay’s Lincoln Yards is a $6 billion historic, transformational mixed-used development over 50 acres on Chicago’s Riverfront, connecting Bucktown, Lincoln Park and Wicker Park. The visionary project will reinvent a former industrial site into a vibrant community with businesses, residences, parks, open spaces and improved infrastructure and transportation.
The massive mixed-use development required significant changes to the site’s zoning and would require major investments in public infrastructure – to not only address the challenges facing the community today, but to anticipate and prepare for future growth. Both the zoning changes and the public financing of infrastructure required votes of regulatory review bodies and the entire 50-member city council. In addition to zoning changes, there were nearly 20 candidates in the mayoral primary and 100 candidates running for city council creating a highly charged political environment for Sterling Bay.
Resolute was engaged to plan and conduct a comprehensive outreach campaign to educate the public, organize supporters, mitigate opposition and help establish the community, economic, environmental and other benefits Sterling Bay’s proposed Lincoln Yards project would offer all of Chicago.
Strategy and Tactics:
Resolute developed both a local engagement program that was designed to re-focus the debate on the major infrastructure and transportation benefits of the completed project while developing a wider advocacy effort that promoted the long-term economic growth, job-creation and investment that would benefit everyone in the city even if they lived far from the project site.
A key approach was smaller scale engagements that allowed for greater discussion between community residents and project team representatives. Lincoln Yards is a complicated proposal with more than a dozen residential, commercial and parking buildings and structures, open park space, new riverwalks and river crossings – all spanning more than 50 acres.
Throughout the campaign the project team held more than 70 meetings with local community groups, elected officials, city staff and others. Both the project zoning and public infrastructure financing were approved. The $6 billion project is one of the largest single developments in the city’s history and will create more than 30,000 construction and permanent jobs over the project’s lifetime.