$Half-Billion Willis Tower Expansion Imminent
Oct10

$Half-Billion Willis Tower Expansion Imminent

Chicago’s tallest building is about to get its biggest upgrade in years. The City has approved construction permits for a half-billion dollar reconstruction of the lower levels of Willis Tower (233 South Wacker Drive).  Altogether, six floors of the building will be re-done, with half of those being below grade.  The tower’s perimeter will be extended all the way out to the sidewalk, thanks to a three-story glass and steel...

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Chicago’s Newest Riparian Residences Ready to Rise
Oct04

Chicago’s Newest Riparian Residences Ready to Rise

As the Chicago River is transformed from the city’s much-abused industrial toilet into a blue-green floe of aquatic wonder, more and more buildings are muscling in — trying to secure their place next to the shimmering belle of the ball. The newest entrant is Renelle on the River (403 North Wabash Avenue), an unlikely 18-story condominium building peeking out between the Trump International Hotel and Tower and the Wrigley...

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The Sinclair is Now Officially Open for Business
Sep28

The Sinclair is Now Officially Open for Business

One of the most dramatic transformations in recent Gold Coast history has been pulled off by Fifield Companies, Jewel-Osco, and SCB. The Sinclair (1201 North LaSalle Street) had its grand opening this week, welcoming an estimated 1,201 guests to the new residential tower that now stands where a vaguely scary, certainly run-down Jewel-Osco glowered just a few years ago. Even the Gold Coast has gritty corners, and this was one of the...

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Residential Tower May Be On Tap For Former Mandarin Oriental Space
Sep26

Residential Tower May Be On Tap For Former Mandarin Oriental Space

Eleven years after the Chicago architecture world was dazzled by SBC’s design for a Mandarin Oriental hotel tower just behind Michigan Plaza, there are signs once again that something might be happening there. It was 2006 that plans were revealed for a 74-story, 900-foot-tall building that would house 250 hotel rooms, 150 luxury condominiums, and 100 über-luxe palaces in the sky branded as The Mandarin Oriental Residences. When...

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Atrium Village Replacement Loses A Skyscraper
Sep25

Atrium Village Replacement Loses A Skyscraper

Remember when the Near North NIMBY brigade complained that the project called Old Town Park that’s replacing the time-worn Atrium Village was just too many towers?  Better late than never, they’re getting their wish. Vancouver’s Onni Group, the developer of Old Town Park have a new plan for the project, and it involves ditching a 39-story residential tower, keeping a nine-story building, and re-orienting the...

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What We Know About Tribune’s 700 at the River
Sep25

What We Know About Tribune’s 700 at the River

It was in January of 2016 when we were the first to let the cat out of the bag on the new development at 700 West Chicago Avenue in Chicago’s Goose Island neighborhood.  755 words called What Downtown Chicago’s Next Master Planned Community Might Look Like, complete with renderings showing the future of the property, a history of how Trib ended up with such a nice piece of land on its hands, and an exploration of the zoning...

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bKL’s Huge Union West Project OK’ed by City
Sep21

bKL’s Huge Union West Project OK’ed by City

A huge development in the heart of the Near West Side has been approved by the Chicago Plan Commission. Nearly all recent ground-up projects in the neighborhood have been less than a half or even a quarter block in size.  So you can imagine the notoriously anti-development people in the area lost their minds when this project, called Union West, came down the pike. But the character and demographics of the area are changing, so Union...

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Dirt Moving for New Near North Hotel
Sep18

Dirt Moving for New Near North Hotel

One of our more alert readers noticed that earth movers have started moving earth at the northwest corner of Clark and Huron Streets.  Clark and Huron is a former surface parking lot that has tried to better itself a number of times in the last decade, with the wheel of fortune finally landing on a 215-room hotel late last year. Near North Spy Jody checked in to our tip line with pictures of 100 West Huron, or at least the ruckus and...

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Chicago Gets a New Downtown Spire
Sep18

Chicago Gets a New Downtown Spire

The Chicago Spire is like the big mole on Aunt Margie’s chin with the hair growing out of it: Everyone knows all about it, but nobody will talk about it for fear of embarrassment. While the plan to put up a 150-story, 2,000-foot-tall spire on Chicago’s lakefront failed and is only spoken of in hushed tones, a more modest spire has managed to silently climb into the River North Skyline. It’s the spire at the new...

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Fifty Floors and Still Rising at One Bennett Park
Sep14

Fifty Floors and Still Rising at One Bennett Park

One of our favorite construction projects of 2017 has reached a milestone.  Construction at One Bennett Park, the condos-over-apartments stack at 451 East Grand Avenue has reached the 50th floor. That means with this latest concrete pour, the Related Midwest skyscraper is at 71% of its eventual 70-floor stature.  If you’d like to measure its progress in height, then it’s up to 540 feet; or 65% of its eventual 836-foot...

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