Chicago Goose Island Developments

Kendall College on Goose Island in Chicago, Near North Side. Repurposed Edwardian factory building on the Chicago River. No people.

Goose Island in the middle of the city of Chicago has a rich and varied history. Originally the artificial island was dubbed “Little Hell”, it was littered with shantytowns and was quite a poor place to live and work. Over the years companies began to take root on the island and take over it and it has become what it is today, somewhat of a run down industrial park in the middle of some prime real estate in the middle of the city.

Goose Island has become more of a fixture in the news as of late as there have been some propositions and plans for the advancement of the island to become a center of progress for tech innovation and industry in the middle of Chicago. Proponents of the new development have dubbed the new iteration of the island Goose Island 2.0 as it goes forward to future development for the future.

Future Plans

Recently property developer Zack Cupkovic has been involved with developing some plans for the island. He works for R2 Companies, a company that has been instrumental on putting its vision forward for the island. They have proposed a new plan all the way up to 2025 outlining their future vision, which includes a new group of buildings and workplaces for the island as well as a new transportation infrastructure

The new transportation would opt for pedestrian walking and biking in order to get to and from the island without the need to drive. Goose Island is at an ideal location in the city as it is close to the L lines and right next to the heart of the downtown area. It has yet to reach its full potential and become an industry leader in the area.

In 2009 there was the Cherry Street pedestrian and bike bridge that was opened up on the north side of Goose Island which made it easier to walk from the North and Clybourn station. The company would like to take this a step forward and build two new bridges without any cars. R2 hired an Urban planning firm called PORT Urbanism to draft a plan for new bike paths.

The company believes that there will be thousands of workers the island will be able to support and it will need the underlying transportation network to make this possible. The plan that they put in place proposes two different paths. The first path would be located at the original site of the bridge where Ogden Avenue once crossed into the island that was removed in 1993, this would help it connect to the Chicago Blue Line stop area.

The area is rife with industrial buildings that could support far more than they do at the current moment as well as future for more companies to rebuild and create better areas for companies to flourish. The building of these two pedestrian paths would prove to be a necessary step to get this to be feasible and help build onto the long term aspects of this project at Goose Island.  

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