If you work in the hotel industry, you can be forgiven for thinking that 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly hates pillow mints and impossibly small bars of soap. For the second time in a week, he’s put pen to paper in an attempt to kill or curtail a new hotel project in Chicago.
The latest victim is the curious proposal at 403 North Wabash Avenue. You may remember it as the weird idea to plop an 18-story Hyatt House on top of the parking garage behind Trump International Hotel and Tower.
The audacious plan was fueled by the text of a 1974 city ordinance permitting a hotel at the location. Back then, the area was still mid-rise, and mostly light industrial. Today, it’s a busy bar, residential, and tourist district with skyscrapers out the wazoo. (“Wazoo” is the technical urban planning term for “buttload.”)
Yesterday the Chicago Plan Commission approved a change to Planned Development 113, which was requested by Alderman Reilly. As it’s put in the paperwork: “The purpose of the technical amendment is remove hotels and motels as permitted uses within the planned development”
Speaking to Crain’s Chicago Business, Mr. Reilly told the publication that the area is simply too dense for a hotel of that size at that location.
It was just last September that the city’s Department of Housing and Economic Development gave its thumbs up to the project, and CDOT came onboard this past February.
Earlier this week, Reilly turned his attention to the tower proposed for the Cedar Hotel in the city’s Gold Coast. As expected, the Plan Commission went along with the alderman’s proposal to curtail building rights on the property. You can read more about that here.