R.I.P.: Park Michigan

It’s game over for the Park Michigan.  We hear that the svelte tower that was supposed to rehab the old YWCA on Michigan Avenue at 9th street (official address is 830 South Michigan Avenue) is dead.  The idea was to rehab the historic Y and add the condo tower behind it in order to make the project profitable.  But it’s just not happening and the property is up for sale again.

In the end, what killed it?  We’re not sure.  We’re hearing two possibilities — significant structural deficiencies in the YWCA, and pressure from the so-called “community groups.”  You know the ones — the NIMBYs who have got their view and won’t let anyone else have one.

So instead of getting these:

  • Landmark tower
  • Hundreds of new residents
  • Millions of new tax dollars
  • New grocery store
  • New ground floor retail
  • New restaurants
  • Preserved YWCA building

The South Loop gets to keep these:

  • Abandoned, unsound YWCA building
  • A surface parking lot

Good job, NIMBYs.


Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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  1. Re: Park Michigan – darn you NIMBYs! The P.M. was precisely what Chicago needed more of – a new contestant in the architectural phallus race (neighborhood scale be damned…but fortunately, Jerry’s is still the biggest,) a defaulting developer, local financiers and speculators gambling on resurrection via public funds, and 80-odd stories of unsold condos built with a level of structural quality previously attained only in Chengdu. And all lost merely because the option value of devekoping the site *after* the current housing cycle dip is worth far more than this proposed building. Pretty shortsighted, NIMBYs!

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  2. THANK GOD this development failed. Warren Barr of Renaissant Development Corporation should be in jail. He and his former former partner William Warman have ruined lives in the South Loop by knowingly selling condos with structural flaws in them and refusing to pay to fix them. Residents in his buildings are being forced into foreclosure. Who knows what huge design flaws and problems this building would have had?

    Big bills hit Prairie Avenue tower residents. http://www.chicagojournal.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=60&ArticleID=5416&TM=43189.16

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