The Chicago Plan Commission has approved the new Chicago Fire FC facility at 1434 S Loomis Street in the Near West Side. Located within Addams/Medill Park, and bound by W Roosevelt Road and S Ashland Avenue, the new grounds will replace relatively empty land and bring new funds to adjoining affordable housing projects. The developer is the sports team itself which is collaborating with the city on acquiring the land, while local designers Crawford Architects are working on the new structures.
With updated plans being announced last month, not much has changed since then with the overall plans. Anchoring the 24.2-acre campus will be a smaller 51,600-square-foot mixed-use building that will contain room for the Fire Youth Academy who partners with children in low-income areas to bring them sports and skillbuilding, as well as spaces for a gym, lockers, medical room, hydrotherapy room, a cafeteria, and offices for the team. All of this will be held within the two-story, 132-foot-tall football performance centre.
The surrounding grounds will hold a total of five full-size pitches/courts and one half pitch. Three of these will be made up of synthetic turf, with the remaining two and a half utilizing a hybrid grass, one of the synthetics closest to the performance center will also be capped by an inflatable dome during the colder months of the year. A greenway will traverse the site with a 4,100-square-foot field crew building located across the campus for maintenance needs. The rest of the park space will potentially hold 222 residential units, with the rest of the money going towards renovating the surrounding homes.
The $80 million project will now move on to its final round of approvals from the Chicago City Council before an official groundbreaking. The team is hoping to start work soon before year’s end, utilizing a rapid timeline to allow the team and visitors to start using the facility by summer 2024. The center has received pushback from the community, especially since the site was originally planned to hold over 2,000 new affordable units, with that being exchanged for the aforementioned renovations as it moves forward.