Status Update: Lexington Square 2
Oct22

Status Update: Lexington Square 2

It’s been a long time since we checked the progress at Lexington Park phase 2.  A really long time.  Like two years.  So it’s not surprising that the project is done.  But the interesting part is that the mini neighborhood across Sangamon Street from Donnovan Playground Park, and  just a nose’s sniff away from Bubbly Creek, looks like it’s been there forever.  And just like the last time we were here, the place...

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A Coat of Paint, or the Start of a New Skyscraper?
Oct20

A Coat of Paint, or the Start of a New Skyscraper?

Loop Spy Otto (Really?  “Otto?”) sent in these photographs of the parking garage at 200 West Randolph Street getting a new paint job.  Why is that so interesting?  Because the wall being panted is planned to be the common wall joining John Buck Company’s new 151 North Franklin. The city of Chicago approved construction of the 36-story office building designed by John Ronan in April of this year.  Since then, the...

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Brooklyn Bowl Rolls A Strike With the (Ordinarily Cranky) West Loop Crowd
Oct15

Brooklyn Bowl Rolls A Strike With the (Ordinarily Cranky) West Loop Crowd

A West Loop community meeting devoid of naysayers is about as rare as an 8 p.m. Saturday reservation at Girl & The Goat. But that was the case Tuesday evening when Convexity Properties asked West Loopers for their blessing on a rezoning proposal. The property in question is a musty old three-story building at 832-856 West Fulton Market. Convexity is pursing a zoning change to allow 18,000 square feet of retail at ground level...

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Status Update: Block37½
Oct14

Status Update: Block37½

The long-awaited residential portion of the Block37 retail/office/hotel/residential/transit development is progressing in earnest. Just days after the city issued construction permits and a formal announcement was made by owner CIM Group, workers were spotted on the roof vacuuming up the gravel.  A couple of weeks later, and the construction has entered a much more serious phase, complete with sidewalk barricades and steel beams....

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Status Update: Getting Down With 200 North Michigan
Oct13

Status Update: Getting Down With 200 North Michigan

The sight of a tower crane is enough to make even the most jaded Loop walker glance skyward while waiting for a crosswalk signal to change.  And while most of us have to be content with looking up at cranes, Loop Spy Daniel gets to look down on them.  He sent in this photograph of the crane at 200 North Michigan Avenue, which is helping build the city’s newest 41-story tower, designed by friends-of-the-blog bKL Architecture....

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Slice of Life: Ping Tom Boardwalk
Oct13

Slice of Life: Ping Tom Boardwalk

One of Chicago’s fastest growing neighborhoods is also one of its oldest.  When Chinatown was relocated from The Loop in the last century, it landed in a hardscrabble, industrial corner of the city, amid rail yards, factories, and a shipping channel. Today, Chinatown is surging with new life as more and more families move ino the area from smaller ethnic enclaves in the suburbs and other cities.  If you’ve wandered the...

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Wrigley Renovation Underway
Oct12

Wrigley Renovation Underway

The latest expansion and renovation of Wrigley Field is officially happening.  Grounbreaking ceremonies were held on Friday and work is already underway of the half-billion dollar project that includes moving the ballpark outward, building a new office building and hotel, and a number of other updates. The Cubs are hoping the first phase of construction will be complete by opening day next year.  But that requires some cooperation...

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Amenities Help Sell Catalyst, The Sleek New West Loop Rental Building
Oct06

Amenities Help Sell Catalyst, The Sleek New West Loop Rental Building

When I moved into my West Loop apartment in 2011, a cool view of the city skyline from the roof—and propane BBQ grills up there—seemed like great add-ons to a living space with high ceilings and stainless appliances. Three years later, the latest rental developments make our place seem positively spartan. Every new high-rise apartment building now boasts more and better amenities. A perfect example is Marquette Companies’ gleaming new...

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At Long Last: Groundbreaking for 200 North Michigan
Oct04

At Long Last: Groundbreaking for 200 North Michigan

After chronicling the saga of 200 North Michigan ad nauseum for the last year, we’ve reached an important milestone: The official groundbreaking of 200 North Michigan Avenue. Having watched the old 200 North Michigan Avenue building being rent piece-by-piece until there was nothing left but scattered bricks and lakeshore loam, it is now time to build the new building in earnest. 200 North Michigan is dead; long live 200 North...

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545 North McClurg Good to Go; Construction to Begin Any Second Now
Sep30

545 North McClurg Good to Go; Construction to Begin Any Second Now

Gentlemen, start your bulldozer engines! The City of Chicago has issued construction permits for the foundation of 545 North McClurg, the 45-story mixed-use development formerly known as 410 East Grand. Designed by friends-of-the-blog, SCB, it is a joint project between Chicago’s Golub and Boston’s The General Investment and Development Companies.  G.I.D. describes the building thusly: The project will be constructed on...

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