A five million dollar makeover has begun at Millennium Park Plaza (151 North Michigan Avenue). The bottom portion of the building is being gutted and replaced with state-of-the-art retail space.
In the decade we’ve been covering Chicago, we can only remember one business ever in this space, and it was only a small half-subterranean bodega.
The renovated retail plaza will have seven spaces across two floors, ranging in size from 671 square feet to 8,131 square feet.
Unfortunately for skyscraper fans, this is only a renovation of the retail space. The proposed add-on tower on the tiny slice of land to the south of Millennium Park Plaza is not happening. At least not right now.
The City of Chicago approved the building owners’ plan to add a 41-story tower to Millennium Park Plaza in April of 2007. That was to have 74 condominiums. In 2009 the owners went to the city asking if they could make it 185, and were turned down. But the tower’s footprint still exists on documents being used by Mid-America Realty to market the new retail space. So there’s still hope.
We looked up the documents the developer submitted to the city in 1977 to get the building built. In those plans, the slice to the south of the existing tower was supposed to be a public plaza. Somewhere along the line, that either didn’t happen or was removed, because when we started this blog ten long years ago, it was a restaurant, not a public space.