Think Chicago’s hotel boom is done booming? Think again. Mr. River North himself, Albert Freidman, held a community meeting last night to showcase his latest proposal: a 395 foot hotel at 330 North Clark Street, adjacent to his Reid Murdoch building.
If constructed, the development will consist of 500 hotel rooms, 85,000 square feet of office space, and ground level retail. Most notably, Friedman’s proposal seeks to modify the Reid Murdoch Building, a registered national historical landmark.
As a result of its historical designation, the architect, HKS, took measures to ensure Friedman’s hotel “complimented the Reid Murdoch building instead of competing with it.” Specifically, the new metal and glass tower will be set back from from old low-rise building, and use a glass extension to make the transition from the old building to new building seamless. HKS is also attempting to make the hotel tower compliment the Reid Murdoch building by making its new neighbor have matching window and column sizes throughout floors one through eight, which will be adjacent and connected to the old Reid Murdoch structure.
Taking advantage of the Reid Murdoch building’s front seat on the Chicago River, the hotel will also feature a sky lobby opening up to the Murdoch building’s rooftop terrace.
People who attended the community meeting had little to say about the proposed building. Nearly all of the discussion centered on the area’s increasing traffic congestion. Attendees complained that adding a nearly 400-foot tower to River North wouldn’t help an already troublesome traffic situation.
While that may or may not be true (experts stated that statistically only 15% of hotel occupants bring a car with them), the development team emphasized that more density is inevitable in the area, and the project includes a motor court running underneath the building to ensure that traffic won’t back up onto North Clark Street.
Although not seeking a zoning change, the developer does want a new planned development status, which will make its pre-development timeline lengthier. If this tower is ever to rise, it will need to travel to the Chicago Plan Commission and then on to the City Council Committee on Zoning prior to a vote by the full City Council.
- Developer: Albert Friedman
- Architecture firm: HKS
- Height: 395 feet
- Floor 31: Rooftop terrace
- Floors 12-30: 500 hotel rooms
- Floors 9-11: hotel sky lobby, amenities, and meeting space
- Floors 2-7: 85,000 square feet of office space
- Floor 1: Office lobby and retail
- B1-B2: Service-use