The Chicago Fire Football Club and Chicago Housing Authority have presented a revised plan for their proposed Chicago Fire Performance Center. Envisioned for a plot of land in the Near West Side, this proposal has been in the works since initial plans for a complex in Belmont Cragin were canceled after resident pushback.
Located within the CHA’s Roosevelt Square masterplan, the proposal will occupy 24.2 acres, bound by W. Washburne Ave to the north, S. Loomis St to the east, W. 15th St and W. 14th St to the south, and S. Ashland Ave to the west. Inset from S. Ashland Ave and W. 15th St, the site area has been reduced from 25.5 acres down to 24.2 acres.
As a complex for the team to prepare for matches and improve the team, it will include two and a half hybrid grass fields for the team and three synthetic turf fields for the Chicago Fire Academy. An inflatable dome will be placed on top of the northwest field during the colder months from November to March.
With Crawford Architects on board for the design, the training facility will measure 51,600 square feet and stand two floors high, down from the original 95,000 square-foot, three-story plan. On the ground floor, program space will include locker rooms, medical space, workout space, hydrotherapy, and a video room. The second floor will host offices, a cafeteria, and meeting space for team operations. A 4,100 square foot building for the field crew will be located just off S. Loomis St and W. Hastings St.
The campus will include a pedestrian greenway corridor through the site. Starting at the intersection of S. Loomis St and W. 14th Pl, the pathway will run through the site over to S. Ashland Ave and W. 14th St.
Projected to cost $75-80 million, the project will be entirely privately funded by the team, with no city financing. With support already secured from Alderman Ervin, the team plans to go before the Chicago Plan Commission at its upcoming September meeting before seeking approval from the Committee on Zoning and full City Council by the end of September. If approvals are secured, work is targeted to begin late Winter 2022 or early Spring 2023, with an aggressive opening target of Summer 2024.
With the loss of land for CHA housing, the organization is revisiting the master plan with its codeveloper Related Midwest to redistribute density. Currently, Roosevelt Square Phase 3B is in the works and is expected to close by the end of the year, with work on the anticipated 220 new units to begin shortly after that. CHA is also considering purchasing surrounding vacant land.