It’s Been a While, But Downtown Lake Shore Drive Reconfig Still “Has a Chance”
May31

It’s Been a While, But Downtown Lake Shore Drive Reconfig Still “Has a Chance”

It’s been over five years since we first heard about city plans to re-configure Lake Shore Drive in downtown Chicago.  A lot of work has been done on the Drive in other parts of the city, but the downtown portion remains congested, dangerous, and falling apart.  But according to 2nd Ward Adlerman Brian Hopkins, “This is a bold, visionary project that has a chance to come to fruition.”  It’s been a long time...

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New Downtown Chicago Apple Store Construction Gets Serious
May31

New Downtown Chicago Apple Store Construction Gets Serious

There are people who love Apple Stores.  There are people who love cranes.  Expect the two groups to squee in unison very soon, as a permit has been issued for a tower crane to help build the new Apple Store at Pioneer Court (401 North Michigan Avenue). Permit issued for new construction TOWER CRANE INSTALLATION AT PLAZA FOR PROPOSED 1-STORY RETAIL ADDITION. You’re right — it is a little unusual for a tower crane to be erected...

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Tuesday Trivia: New Navy Pier Ferris Wheel Statistics
May31

Tuesday Trivia: New Navy Pier Ferris Wheel Statistics

  Navy Pier got summer off to a rolling start with the debut of the new Centennial Wheel over the Memorial Day weekend.  Thousands of people lined up to plonk down $15 a piece to be gently carried 190 feet into the air over Chicago’s lakefront and returned safely to the carnival below. If you didn’t get a chance to go, or you’re waiting until winter to take advantage of the $3 Illinois resident discount, the...

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Another Boutique Hotel Headed to River North
May25

Another Boutique Hotel Headed to River North

The intersection of Clark and Huron in River North is about to get its third hotel. The Chicago Plan Commission has approved plans for a 17-story hotel at 100 West Huron Street.  That’s across the street from both the Hotel Felix, and the Godfrey Hotel. Felix was the pioneer in boutique hotels in this corner of the city.  Oxford Capital converted the SRO known as the Hotel Wacker into the Felix back in 2009.  Since then, demand...

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Building Great Chicago Open Spaces From Above and Below
May25

Building Great Chicago Open Spaces From Above and Below

  Do you love parks?  Of course you do! Do you love construction?  Of course you do! Like chocolate and peanut butter, the good people over at Walsh Construction have put together parks and construction into a single video about their work creating great urban open spaces in Chicago. You’ve seen the big green Walsh logo in places high and low across this city.  When it comes to parks, it was the general contractor on...

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Cash-Strapped, Half-Empty CPS Will Build a New School in the South Loop
May24

Cash-Strapped, Half-Empty CPS Will Build a New School in the South Loop

The Chicago Public Schools system faces  a billion dollar deficit, and has endured multiple rounds of layoffs and school closings over the last few years as the city’s population decreases.  But none of that is stopping Mayor Rahm Emanuel from promising a select group of citizens that new schools are coming to their neighborhoods. WBEZ radio has gotten its hands on a list of 16 new schools hizzonor plans to put up around the...

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New Loop Building to Imitate Look of Old Wabash
May24

New Loop Building to Imitate Look of Old Wabash

Last week we told you that the project destined for 171 North Wabash Street in The Loop had a new developer, and a new purpose.  Now we can tell you, it will also have a touch of the same old thing, as well. 171 North Wabash was originally envisioned as a companion building to the new skyscraper around the corner called Experience 73 (73 East Lake Street).  At the time it was proposed, the idea was that it the new building...

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New Hyde Park Hotel to Cater to U of C Visitors
May24

New Hyde Park Hotel to Cater to U of C Visitors

The latest hotel plan for the Hyde Park neighborhood is moving forward.  The Chicago Plan Commission as approved  plans from suburban Cleveland developer Smart/Olympia Illinois to turn a surface parking lot at East 53rd Street and South Dorchester Avenue into a seven-story hotel with up to 100 rooms. Last fall, neighbors of 1401 East 53rd express concern about what the GREC-designed hotel will do to traffic on the street, which is...

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8 East Huron is About to Become a Thing
May24

8 East Huron is About to Become a Thing

Early this year we told you about a pair of vintage Chicago walk-ups that were about to bite the dust.  The dust has since been bitten and 8 East Huron is ready to rise in their place. 8 East Huron is at the corner of State and Huron, a block south of Holy Name Cathedral.  It is a 26-story residential block replacing a pair of buildings erected in 1889.  And it just got a crisp new building permit from the city of Chicago: NEW...

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No More Talkin’ ‘Bout “Willis” — Two Chicago Skyscraper Icons Due for Name Changes: ST
May23

No More Talkin’ ‘Bout “Willis” — Two Chicago Skyscraper Icons Due for Name Changes: ST

Two of Chicago’s tallest skyscrapers are getting new names — Names that don’t even belong to companies in them, according to the Sun-Times. Extraordinarily well-connected columnist Michael Sneed reports that both the John Hancock Center (875 North Michigan Avenue) and the Willis Tower (233 South Wacker Drive) are close to inking deals that would give naming rights to third-party companies, with headquarters elsewhere. The...

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