A rendering of Perkins + Will’s initial concept for the first phase of the Riverline project, which will include 62 townhomes, a 29-story apartment building, and a 19-story condo building.

“A frenzy of construction and revitalization” is underway at the Chicago River, which to this day struggles with the pollution created by the city’s industrial sector. Among these revitalization projects is the Riverline development, which broke ground on Monday.

Riverline’s developers plan to turn an empty stretch of brush into a new series of town homes, apartments, condos, and green spaces. Related Midwest also plans to develop an even bigger undeveloped section of Chicago’s riverfront, which when complete will connect Riverline to Chinatown. The projects are expected to be complete in 15 years.

Riverline and its sister development have been received warmly by the South Loop neighborhood. “People want the South Loop to be a riverfront neighborhood,” said Josh Ellis, board member of the Greater South Loop Association. Residents hope the projects will spur infrastructure improvements, including an additional high school and a reconfiguration of roads to prevent bottlenecks, he said.

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