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WeLink Affiliate Seals Acquisition Of U.S. Steel South Works Site

Chicago Land
U.S. Steel's South Works site

While most eyes are on the North Branch Industrial Corridor's 760 acres, another big land deal was completed in South Shore, where U.S. Steel found a buyer for the 430-acre South Works site that has been abandoned for 25 years. An affiliate of WeLink and Barcelona Housing Systems is acquiring the site, according to Crain's Chicago Business.

WeLink affiliate Emerald Living and Barcelona Housing Systems first announced their interest in the South Works site in late January. Barcelona specializes in inexpensive, environmentally friendly modular housing, while WeLink specializes in renewable energy and construction. The JV could build between 12,000 and 20,000 new homes on the site, in stages of 3,000 units.

The South Works site has been a riddle for the city and developers since U.S. Steel ceased operations and razed its operations in 1992. The most notable announced development attached to the site was an ambitious mixed-use venture between U.S. Steel and McCaffery Interests that was never realized. That partnership was dissolved in March 2016. U.S. Steel hired Cushman & Wakefield in August 2016 to market the site to buyers as either a single-site redevelopment opportunity, or to be split into multiple redevelopment opps, and rebranded the site 8080 Lakeshore.

The sale is pending an environmental review and due diligence process. Emerald Living has five months to complete the acquisition.