The City of Chicago’s Zoning committee has approved plans for a new skyscraper to be built at 1 South Halsted Street.
One South Halsted will be a 46-story residential apartment tower that will go up in what is now a surface parking lot for the Crowne Plaza Hotel. It’s directly across the street from the landmark Skybridge tower (1 North Halsted Street), but with its mass pushed towards the highway instead of set back from the road like Skybridge is. Architecture firm FitzGerald Associates describes it thusly:
With spectacular views of downtown Chicago virtually guaranteed by the adjacent highway, this highly amenitized 746,400 square foot, 46-story building will contain 492 apartments along with street-level retail spaces, banquet halls, a business center, pool and health club to be shared with the adjacent 400-room Crown Plaza Hotel. In a uniquely reciprocal arrangement, the Crowne Plaza will provide hotel services such as housekeeping and room service to the tower’s residents.
One South Halsted will be the latest piece of the skyscraper wall that is intended to insulate Greektown from the noise and visual cacophony of the Kennedy Expressway. The strip of land bordering the west side of the freeway is intentionally zoned for skyscrapers to protect Greektown and the West Loop from the transportation gash.
However, some locals don’t see it that way. In public meetings for other neighborhood skyscrapers, most notably 765 West Adams, some residents stated that they feel like the skyscraper curtain cuts them off from the rest of the city, leaving them isolated. Some have said that they feel betrayed because they were led to believe that Skybridge, the first big tower in the chain, was an anomaly that wouldn’t be repeated.
That may have been the word from their real estate agents, but it’s not what the city has in mind. Urban planners decided decades ago that there would eventually be a line of skyscrapers running up the west side of the Kennedy from I-290 to North Avenue.
There are currently two other Greektown towers nearing construction: 765 West Adams, which just had its latest public hearing last week, and The Gateway, a 200+-unit residential tower that’s part of the development at 14 South Halsted.
That project has been going full steam ahead with its retail component, including a Mariano’s Fresh Market that should have the neighboring Dominick’s shaking in its boots. The Dominick’s at 1 North Halsted lost a large chunk of business when the Neighborhood Wal-Mart opened a couple of blocks away at Presidential Towers a year ago. Having a Mariano’s across the street will add even more pressure for the dated grocer to up its game.