Prestigious Nobu Hotel Clears Hurdle With (Mostly) Positive Feedback from the West Loop
Jun11

Prestigious Nobu Hotel Clears Hurdle With (Mostly) Positive Feedback from the West Loop

  Tough crowd, these West Loopers. Even the prospect of Robert De Niro strolling down the aisle of Mariano’s wasn’t sufficient to convince some residents of the merits of a proposed Nobu Hotel and Restaurant at West Randolph and North Peoria Streets.   But then, even if Michael Jordan and Mike Ditka presented plans for a 30-story tower west of Halsted, these folks would likely ride them out of town on a Metra train. Indeed,...

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Status Update: Hyatt Place on Franklin
May13

Status Update: Hyatt Place on Franklin

One of The Loop’s new hotels is about to round the corner from hole in the ground to recognizable shape. Loop Spy Marilyn sent in these photo of construction at the Hyatt Place at 28 North Franklin Street will transform a surface parking lot into a 18-story hotel with 206 rooms positioned between Chicago’s two financial hubs: LaSalle Street and Wacker Drive. Downtown Chicago has been a hotel magnet recently, with nearly a...

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Hotel Sandwich Proposed for the West Loop
May13

Hotel Sandwich Proposed for the West Loop

For a simple parking lot, the space at 108 North Jefferson Street goes through more mood swings than Robin Williams on a Starbucks jag. When we first met the property, it was going to the home of a shiny new condo block. When the market tanked, gears shifted and it was pegged as an apartment building. As the recession dragged on, it was re-imagined as a modest office tower. And now it has finally made the transition to the newly...

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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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