Recap of Chicago Cityscape's Q1 Lunch Break Update on April 18, 2023

Watch the 23-minute video recording of our latest Lunch Break Update, during which we demonstrate some of the new features we published during Q1 2023. 

Use this timecodes guide to skip amongst the four platform updates:

  • 1.a. Finding new development opportunities, vacant building registry: 3:25
  • 1.b. Finding new development opportunities, brownfields: 6:11
  • 2. New building permits filters (topics, tags, and civic projects): 9:00
  • 3. Aerial and historic maps: 14:12
  • Audience question about aerial maps: 18:08
  • 4. Public sector investments (TIF, NOF, community development grant, proposed TIF-funded projects): 19:40
  • Summary: 23:09

ADU news you can use for May 2023

Last year’s ADU citywide expansion bill was among the majority of unadopted ordinances killed in City Council yesterday, but new 44th Ward Alderperson Lawson introduced a replacement bill . The Chicago Department of Housing is hiring a “housing development coordinator” who will split their time b...

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2023 Q1 sales data has been published

Chicago Cityscape has added the latest quarter of property sales in Cook County. There were 25,009 sales recorded between January 1, 2023, and March 31, 2023. That is a 4.7 percent decrease in sales compared to 2022 Q4.

Our full dataset of Cook County property sales spans the period of 2014 to the first quarter of 2023; data comes from the Illinois Department of Revenue and is updated quarterly, within two weeks of the end of the quarter.

46 percent of these sales and transactions were for Chicago properties. Use the Property Sales Browser to analyze the number and value of sales in other municipalities.

chart showing the number of property sales per quarter between 2019 Q1 and 2023 Q1 inclusive

Ten big changes we made in 2023 Q1

Our next Lunch Break Update is scheduled for Tuesday, April 18, 2023, at 12 PM. RSVP is required . These meetings showcase a handful of the new and updated features we built in the previous quarter. (We’ll select four or five from the list below — let us know if you want to see a particular featu...

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What’s good in the neighborhood?

Chicago Cityscape has compiled several data sources — over 150 , to be more precise — to help real estate brokers, community development corporations, and neighborhood stewards, highlight local assets and reasons for investment in the Chicago neighborhoods they represent . We’ve collected these ...

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Find construction projects in Chicago based on trends, including #UnusedZoningCapacity and INVEST South/West

Chicago Cityscape modified Building Permits Browser again to make it easier to find examples of specific trends. In two clicks, find construction projects that can be categorized into one or more these topics:

  1. #UnusedZoningCapacity
  2. Commercial to residential conversion
  3. INVEST South/West
  4. Adaptive reuse
  5. Passive House

Look for "Filter by tag or topic" in the filters section below the permits map and data table.

screenshot of the tag and topic filters

We manually categorize building permits into these and other categories, so they may be missing some projects. View Tags & Topics to see the full list of trends we track (not all of them can be filtered in Building Permits Browser; send us your feedback on what tags & topics you'd like to filter).

Search for civic projects' building permits with a single click

Chicago Cityscape has added a new Quick Filter to the Building Permits Browser to quickly find building permits issued to public agencies. BPB is used by trades unions, architects, and real estate brokers to find where projects have occurred, who designed what, and to learn about the history of a building. 

The new Quick Filter is called "Civic projects", and we're currently beta testing it. Try it now!

The "Civic projects" Quick Filter activates with a single click and pulls up building permits since 2006 that were issued to the Chicago Park District, Chicago Transit Authority, the Public Building Commission, and Chicago Public Schools. While their building permits comprise less than 0.5 percent, multiple are issued every month. 

screenshot of the Quick Filter for "Civic projects"

We know that it's helpful to track these public agency projects because they are important developments in Chicago. While this is in beta testing, please send us any feedback

Notes about the data: The BPB may not show 100 percent of the building permits issued to those three agencies since 2006 because the names used on the permits may be different from time to time. For example, sometimes the agency's name is used, and it's very easy to filter for their permits, but sometimes a project manager's name is used and we may not catch this until later.

Residential developments in TOD areas no longer need to obtain relief from the Pedestrian Street transparency requirement

This zoning code brief is useful for architects, their developer clients, permit expeditors, and zoning attorneys.

The Chicago City Council adopted minor changes to the zoning code in ordinance SO2022-3785 on January 18, 2023 (the S means a substitute ordinance, different from the original proposal, was passed). 

The main changes were technical changes to the code, including eliminating text referring to code that was removed in July 2022, and adding some missing keywords that don't affect the standards. 

The substantial change in the code is that the requirement for developments in transit-served locations (TSL, but we also call them TOD areas) to comply with "Pedestrian Street" standards has been relaxed for residential developments. 

The requirement is that buildings subject to the standard had to have a minimum amount of transparency on the ground floor, but that doesn't work well for residential uses where there are dwelling units on the ground floor. The relevant standard is shown in the screenshot below. 

This standard is not part of Chicago Cityscape's Zoning Assessment, so no changes to our platform have been made.

Screenshot of the aforementioned code section

The technical change to the code is that any new construction in B, C, and D zoning districts must comply with the Pedestrian Street design standards in 17-3-0504 or 17-4-0504 (depending if the zoning district is B/C or D) except subsection (C), which is the standard displayed above. 

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