An interesting article caught our eye when we opened our Crain’s Chicago Business yesterday. There was a piece about a new mixed-use tower coming to 40 East Superior Street in Chicago’s Near North Neighborhood. The article about the so-called Cathedral Tower appeared to be based entirely on a single paragraph on the web site of Symmetry Property Development in New York.
We like to do our own research around here, so we added this to the list of things to follow up on. Later in the day, we managed to track down some early renderings of the building, and they’re quite nice. While we were doing that, two things happened:
- Washington-based web network Eater and sister news aggregator, Curbed, went to work on it. Curbed re-wrote the Crain’s article, and Eater talked to the Gibson’s Group, which denied that it’s involved in the project.
- Wyndham Hotels and Resorts sent Crain’s a message also denying it is involved in the Cathedral Tower.
So, two strikes against the project. But that doesn’t mean it’s out. Crain’s did talk to developer Christopher Carley, head of the Fordham Company, who indicated the tower project was still alive. You may remember the Fordham Company from such last decade projects as the Fordham Tower, down the track at 25 East Superior Street; the Pinnacle at 21 East Huron Street; and the Fordham Spir… oh, let’s just leave it at that.
First, the project depends on the demolition of 42 and 44-46 East Superior Street. These are two Chicago graystones built in 1891 that are “code orange” in Chicago zoning-speak. This means they have historical importance and you can’t go knocking them down without a lot of paperwork and maybe some public input.
Second, it also requires the use of the lot at 40 East Superior and the odd garage-looking building at 739 North Wabash Avenue. Holy Name Cathedral owns both of these. The lot is a parking lot for the people who live at Casa Jesús (750 North Rush Street), which now includes Archbishop Cupich. And the other building is the heating plant for Holy Name Cathedral (735 North State Street), which is a very large space and requires quite a lot of heating.
The Casa Jesús people could just park at the main Holy Name parking lot two blocks away. But moving the heating plant would be a lot trickier. The developers will have to work out something with the church and possibly the Archdiocese of Chicago to make that happen.