Redevelopment in The North Branch of Chicago


Last July, the City of Chicago enacted an ordinance rezoning the 760-acre North Branch (Chicago River) Industrial Corridor to allow for “a vibrant, mixed-use business center.”  The area in question runs between Kinzie Street and Fullerton Avenue.  Many of the Industrial uses that occupied the banks of the Chicago River have either shuttered or moved to different locations.  

Learn more about the North Branch Corridor here.

The re-zoning has three stated goals:

  1. Maintain the corridor as an economic engine and vital job center
  2. Provide better access to all modes of transportation
  3. Enhance the areas' unique natural and built environment

The sweeping changes are shown in the zoning map below.

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Morton Salt announced last month that they’re selling their 4.25-acre property at Elston and Division to R2 Companies for a Mixed-Use development.  

Some of the highlights of the agreement include the adaptive reuse and renovation of multiple buildings. This includes the main warehouse building (which will maintain the iconic Morton Salt Logo on its roof), the addition of a public Riverwalk and greenspace, and mixed-use projects including office, retail and entertainment use.   

Immediately south of the Morton Salt Complex is McGrath Acura, where Terra designed the Civil infrastructure. The Morton Salt development will extend the Riverwalk and greenspace that McGrath Acura developed in 2013.  

McGrath Acura won a City of Chicago Green Ribbon for the work that was done to beautify the West bank of the Chicago River.  Coincidently, twenty months ago the South wall of the Morton facility ‘blew-out,’ dumping tons of salt on a handful of new Acura vehicles.

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A revitalized North Branch Industrial Corridor with new entertainment, restaurants, retail, multi-family housing and green space will be a welcome addition to this industrial area and will boost the economic activity in the area. Several Terra employees enjoy kayaking along the North Branch in the summertime.  The possibility of linking the North Branch with the recently completed Chicago Riverwalk only adds to the excitement of a redevelopment project of this magnitude.

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We’re excited to see how this Chicago project progresses! Keep up to date on construction by checking in with the Terra team and visiting the City of Chicago website.