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Chicago Fire signs controversial deal to build training facility on CHA land
By CBS Chicago Team,
CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Chicago Fire Football Club is officially moving it's training facility to the Near West Side, after signing a lease with the Chicago Housing Authority to build the $80 million complex on CHA land.
As part of a controversial lease agreement, the Chicago Fire will take over a site that once was part of the ABLA Homes public housing complex, most of which has been demolished as part of the CHA's so-called "Plan For Transformation" between 2002 and 2007.
Critics of the deal have said CHA land should be used only for creating affordable housing, noting CHA has replaced only a fraction of the housing that was torn down at the ABLA Homes site.
The mayor's office said the Chicago Fire deal will generate $40 million in revenue for the CHA through annual rent payments over the next 40 years, allowing the agency to invest in public housing projects. The deal will also provide an $8 million up-front payment from the Fire that the city said will go to preserve and renovate nearby CHA housing.
The Chicago Fire training facility will feature a two-story performance center, two-and-a-half hybrid grass pitches, and three synthetic turf pitches.
The 23-acre site stretches from Roosevelt Road to 14th Street and Ashland Avenue to Loomis Street.