20K homes planned for vacant US Steel land on South Side

CHICAGO (WLS) -- About 440 acres of vacant land along Lake Michigan on the Southeast Side is expected to be developed into a mixed-use development, which will include 20,000.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Steel inked a deal to sell the land, formerly the South Works steel plant that closed in 1992, to Emerald Living, of Barcelona, Spain.

"This is further along than we've ever been. So to say it's exciting is an understatement," said Alderman Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th Ward).

Sadlowski Garza has been working with the mayor's office to sell the land.

The lakefront land is located at 8080 South Lake Shore Drive between 79th street and the Calumet River in the city's South Chicago neighborhood.

Currently, trees, brush and chained-link fences blanket the land, but the plan includes a series of low-rise apartment buildings, built with environmentally friendly technology, with views of the lake. The new project would be called New South Works.

"The plan to build some single family homes, Some four story high rises. Some retail as well," Sadlowski Garza said.

People who live and bike around this space are still skeptical the new complex will actually come to fruition.

"We've been hearing about news for development for this property for quite a long time. So, if it's real this time I think overall it's going to be a good thing for the community," said Chuck Webb, who lives nearby.

Under the terms of the purchase sale agreement, Emerald Living has five months to close on the sale following a period of environmental review and other due diligence.

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U.S. Steel's South Works plant on Chicago's Southeast Side has been vacant since 1992.

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