CHICAGO — Attorneys from the City of Chicago and the federal government, along with community groups from around the City, were in court Wednesday arguing over land leased to Chicago Fire FC.
The federal lawsuit was brought by a coalition of community based groups that say the land should be used for housing.
The hearing was trying to decide whether or not those groups have legal standing to bring the lawsuit in the first place. The judge said he would make a decision at a later date.
The 23 acres of land is owned by the Chicago Housing Authority on the Near West Side.
Near the end of her term, Lori Lightfoot pushed a lease with the Chicago Fire. The soccer club paid $40 million to lease the land for 40 years to build a training facility. They also committed $8 million upfront for community investment.
The coalition of community based groups sued to try and say the city is breaking a promise to build close to 800 housing units.
Attorneys for CHA say it still plans to build the housing development, just on a smaller footprint, and doesn’t need the acreage leased to the Fire.
Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, signed off on the deal. Those bringing the lawsuit said a civil rights review was never done to decide the impact of that lease.
HUD says there is no impact because there wasn’t anything there to begin with, and the agency that would have done the study sat-in on the discussions. They also say the study wasn’t required by law.
Community members, however, are still very upset. It was not clear when the judge will make his ruling on the case. He did suggest to HUD to go ahead and do the civil rights review