Developer Trying to Squeeze One More Hotel In Along the Chicago River

Rendring of 330 North Clark

Rendring of 330 North Clark

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.

Model of 330 North Clark

Model of 330 North Clark

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.

More details:

  • 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

Location: 330 North Clark Street, Near North

Zachary Pollack

Author: Zachary Pollack

Zachary is a lawyer by day and architecture buff by night. At the office Zachary focuses his practice on working with commercial real estate developers and developers focused on subsidized housing projects. Although Zachary grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, he had his heart set on Chicago ever since visiting as a child and being in awe of the city's skyscrapers. Zachary lives in Old Town. On weekends you can find him strolling the streets checking out progress on all the construction sites. Feel free to get in touch with Zac at zpollack@krasnowsaunders.com

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4 Comments

  1. The below ground motor court will do nothing to alleviate the traffic problems in that neighborhood. The traffic still needs to get down there and there is only one way. The ramp at the intersection of La Salle & Kinzie. And increased density does not have to be inevitable if the City takes a stance on building a high-rise on every available piece of land!

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    • Editor

      Density in a particular area is inevitable if the city has already decided that it is supposed to be a high density zone, which this is. That decision was made decades ago.

      As for traffic getting to the lower level, I don’t think the LaSalle ramp is the only option. It’s been a while since I’ve driven in that area, but isn’t it possible for traffic from the west to take Kinzie to Wells to Carroll, and traffic from the east/south to take Wacker to Michigan to North Water to Carroll? Again, I’m not an expert in the underground roads north of the river, but I think it’s possible, especially considering this is meant for trucks and cabs and professional drivers, not for mom and pop driving in from Iowa.

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  2. To be perfectly candid, I wonder about all of these recent hotel openings? On one hand I think these new opening have saved a few buildings the Chicago Club, Wacker Tower, and the Dearborn Bank Building come to mind. There just seems to be a an over abundance as of late. Does the city really need all of them? If so, I would rather they continue saving the old buildings instead of building more steel and glass. One building that comes to mind that could be saved via another hotel is the old Consumers Tower on State. It would be a shame to lose it.

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