Status Update: Raising Franklin
Apr20

Status Update: Raising Franklin

Riding past North Franklin Street on Good Friday I saw great big red crane pieces being assembled for the new hotel going up at number 28.  Alas, the CTA’s #20 bus is a relentless beast and I wasn’t able to get a picture of the activity. Fortunately, Loop Spy Ryan saw it too, and sent in this photo of the assembled crane rising from the middle of the block. When completed, the hotel will be 18 stories tall and bear the...

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Downtown Dairy Depot to Become Hip Hostel Hotel
Apr15

Downtown Dairy Depot to Become Hip Hostel Hotel

One of the great things about Chicago buildings is that not only do they inspire us to look to the future, but many of them are also ties to the city’s past. One of  our favorites is the old Borden Dairy Depot at 312 West Chestnut Street, hard against the CTA Brown Line tracks snaking through River North. The building is narrow and runs the entire length of the block between Chestnut Street and West Locust Street.  Cook County...

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Status Update: Room With a Water View
Apr08

Status Update: Room With a Water View

So far, all of the photos we’ve seen of SCB’s Loews Tower in Streeterville (435 North Park Drive) have been from the west and south sides. Recently, Streeterville Spy Donald sent in some pictures taken from the lake side of the building, and its positioning makes a whole lot more sense now. You can see how the rooms on the east side of the building  overlook Ogden Slip, and from there, Navy Pier and Lake Michigan.  Those...

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Things Are Getting Hostel on Ohio Street
Apr07

Things Are Getting Hostel on Ohio Street

Work is underway transforming downtown Chicago’s old Tokyo Hotel (19 East Ohio street) into something much less like the old Tokyo Hotel (still at 19 East Ohio Street). Although it was a favorite of suburban club hoppers looking for a cheap no-questions-asked place to crash after a long night of cruising Hubbard Street, it certainly has seen better days. A New York company called Sydell Group is spending about $20 million to...

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Signs of Life at Wacker Tower
Apr05

Signs of Life at Wacker Tower

After a long, cold winter’s hibernation, there are signs that real progress may come to Wacker Tower (68 East Wacker Place) sooner, rather than later. The 1928 art deco skyscraper by Holabird & Root has been the subject of several attempted hotel conversions over the last decade or so, but the current one appears to finally have traction. Loop Spy Edward recently sent in pictures of a new construction hoist anchored to the...

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First Look: New Downtown Chicago Hotel on Rush Street
Mar31

First Look: New Downtown Chicago Hotel on Rush Street

  We’re getting our first look at the latest hotel tower proposed for the Near North side. When we first heard about the project, it sounded like the end of the line for one of downtown’s greatest tourist magnets: The Giordano’s restaurant on Rush and Superior Streets. The early descriptions led us to believe that the old warehouse building would be sacrificed for lodging. It turns out there’s nothing to...

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Status Update: Virgin Loses Her Red Top, Gets Ready To Show Chicago Her Stuff
Mar19

Status Update: Virgin Loses Her Red Top, Gets Ready To Show Chicago Her Stuff

The world’s first Virgin Hotel is very privately getting ready for its debut. The unique red construction netting that once shrouded its upper reaches of the former Dearborn Bank Building at 203 North Wabash Avenue is long gone, and it doesn’t look like there’s too much more facade work to do. Most of the windows used to have a red masking tape grid on them. But now only a few do, which could mean that those portions...

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Status Update: The Tiny Alley That Will Soon Be A Hilton Garden Inn
Mar17

Status Update: The Tiny Alley That Will Soon Be A Hilton Garden Inn

Move over GEMS Academy, there’s a new contender for the title of “Chicago’s most cramped construction site.” GDS Companies has begun work on a new Hilton Garden Inn below street level at 66 East Wacker Place. The 26-story limited service hotel designed by GREC Architects is being squeezed into the tiny space between the Seventeenth Church of Christ and the Chicago Motor Club building.  It will be the third...

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Status Update: 28 North Franklin
Feb23

Status Update: 28 North Franklin

No one moves to The Loop for the peace and quiet. Take it from someone who lived on the corner of Lake and Wells for a year, just above the screeches, roars, and whistles of the Tower 18 L crossing. But the big noise last week was jackhammers getting to work on 28 North Franklin Street, what is expected to grow into an 18-story Hyatt Place hotel.  At least we thought it was going to be 18 stories.  But the construction permit issued...

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One Hotel, Two Hotel, No Hotel, New Hotel
Jan27

One Hotel, Two Hotel, No Hotel, New Hotel

Just when you thought another hotel couldn’t be crammed into Chicago’s Near North neighborhood, Crain’s Chicago Business reports that one is coming to Rush Street. In fact, it’s coming to Crain’s old headquarters building at 740 North Rush Street, which sported a legacy “Crain’s” logo in fading paint way up high on the facade until just about a year ago. These days, of course, the...

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