It is perhaps Greektown’s most anticipated skyscraper since Skybridge. One South Halsted is one of the few West Loop-area tower proposals that hasn’t been met with blind fanatical hatred by unhinged local NIMBYs. In fact, its design has made it a favorite, and one of the buildings we most often receive e-mail about asking, “Is it going up yet? How about now? How about now? What about now?”
Well, the answer is still, “not yet,” but we can report on what may be the first tiny little baby steps toward bringing the curvalicious treat to the Avenue of Gyros. Greektown Spy Geoff sent in the photo above, showing soil sampling in the parking lot of the Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro Downtown. That’s where 1 South Halsted is supposed to rise, and as Mr. Spy noted, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” After all, somebody’s writing a big fat check to pay for that drilling. You don’t do it just for fun.
For those of you just tuning in, One South Halsted is a 50-story residential building wedged between the Kennedy Expressway and its eponymous address. Architecture firm FitzGerald Associates describes it thusly:
With spectacular views of downtown virtually guaranteed by the intervening highway, this highly amenitized building will incorporate banquet halls, a business center, pool and health club to be shared with the adjacent 400 room hotel. In a uniquely reciprocal arrangement, the hotel will provide hotel services such as housekeeping and room service to the tower’s residents.
This relationship distinguishes the Residences of One South Halsted from apartment buildings in its neighborhood and permits the existing hotel to upgrade its attraction to business travelers with facilities it currently lacks.
Although the building includes the lamentable giant square podium, that will hopefully become a blind spot as people are drawn to admire the remainder of the building.