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CHICAGO-The city’s plan commission is expected to recommend approval this week of a 20-year blueprint for Downtown development. Shorter range, department of planning and development commissioner Alicia Berg says a request for proposals will be issued later this year for two sites on S. State Street.

The city has hired Jones Lang LaSalle to shop a two-acre site at Madison and DesPlaines streets, just west of Presidential Towers. However, Berg says two South Loop sites at 9th and State streets as well as 16th and State streets are in the works. Both sides are virtually surrounded by multifamily redevelopment, including the massive Central Station project south of Roosevelt Road.

Berg told a RealShare Chicago audience of about 500 last week the Central Area Plan is expected to be endorsed by the plan commission Thursday. It is the first master plan for the Downtown area since 1958, she notes, and attempts to chart the addition of 40 million sf of new office space as well as 9 million sf of additional retail space over the next 20 years.

Multifamily development already is underway. “The Central Area is now the state’s fastest growing residential community,” Berg says.

Although the Downtown area represents about 2% of the city’s land mass, Berg says it could generate another $2 billion in new property tax revenue.

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