South Loop Surface Lot Lives to Park Another Day

It’s not easy being a surface parking lot in Chicago.  People think you’re ugly.  They drive all over you.  They let their dogs wee on you.  They wish you were replaced by nice gleaming towers of glass, steel, and stone.  Well, one surface lot is going to hold on a little longer, thanks to the flaccid economy.

The apartment complex proposed for the southwest corner of Clark and Polk isn’t going to happen.  At least not any time soon, according to Crain’s Chicago Business Chicago Real Estate Daily.  It quotes the developer as saying that groundbreaking has been pushed back until at least May, 2010 — maybe further, depending on what happens with the economy.

The same article notes that the property immediately to the south will have the opposite future, but for the same reasons.

Because of the bad economy, no one wants to buy the property at 1000 South Clark that’s been on the market for months.  Now the owner is going to develop part of it into low-end retail to at least recoup some money while waiting out the recession.

It remains to be seen exactly what kinds of stores would end up along Clark Street.  The article states, “D2 aims to attract lower-priced retailers that need bigger spaces and want to be next to a Target.”  That sounds an awful lot like “dollar store” to our uneducated ears.  Let’s hope the developer’s desperation doesn’t turn what was once a promising location into something less than desirable.

Author: Editor

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

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