The Sinclair is Now Officially Open for Business
Sep28

The Sinclair is Now Officially Open for Business

One of the most dramatic transformations in recent Gold Coast history has been pulled off by Fifield Companies, Jewel-Osco, and SCB. The Sinclair (1201 North LaSalle Street) had its grand opening this week, welcoming an estimated 1,201 guests to the new residential tower that now stands where a vaguely scary, certainly run-down Jewel-Osco glowered just a few years ago. Even the Gold Coast has gritty corners, and this was one of the...

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GEMS Second Building in Lakeshore East Gets Cut in Half
Sep26

GEMS Second Building in Lakeshore East Gets Cut in Half

It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t like the GEMS Academy’s current schoolhouse on East South Water Street for grades one through four.  The bKL-designed institution fits in well with its neighboring buildings, actively respects the highly-curated slice of nature across the street, and fills in an infrastructure gap that was open for too long. As we reported back in July, construction is underway on the second GEMS...

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Residential Tower May Be On Tap For Former Mandarin Oriental Space
Sep26

Residential Tower May Be On Tap For Former Mandarin Oriental Space

Eleven years after the Chicago architecture world was dazzled by SBC’s design for a Mandarin Oriental hotel tower just behind Michigan Plaza, there are signs once again that something might be happening there. It was 2006 that plans were revealed for a 74-story, 900-foot-tall building that would house 250 hotel rooms, 150 luxury condominiums, and 100 über-luxe palaces in the sky branded as The Mandarin Oriental Residences. When...

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Atrium Village Replacement Loses A Skyscraper
Sep25

Atrium Village Replacement Loses A Skyscraper

Remember when the Near North NIMBY brigade complained that the project called Old Town Park that’s replacing the time-worn Atrium Village was just too many towers?  Better late than never, they’re getting their wish. Vancouver’s Onni Group, the developer of Old Town Park have a new plan for the project, and it involves ditching a 39-story residential tower, keeping a nine-story building, and re-orienting the...

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What We Know About Tribune’s 700 at the River
Sep25

What We Know About Tribune’s 700 at the River

It was in January of 2016 when we were the first to let the cat out of the bag on the new development at 700 West Chicago Avenue in Chicago’s Goose Island neighborhood.  755 words called What Downtown Chicago’s Next Master Planned Community Might Look Like, complete with renderings showing the future of the property, a history of how Trib ended up with such a nice piece of land on its hands, and an exploration of the zoning...

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bKL’s Huge Union West Project OK’ed by City
Sep21

bKL’s Huge Union West Project OK’ed by City

A huge development in the heart of the Near West Side has been approved by the Chicago Plan Commission. Nearly all recent ground-up projects in the neighborhood have been less than a half or even a quarter block in size.  So you can imagine the notoriously anti-development people in the area lost their minds when this project, called Union West, came down the pike. But the character and demographics of the area are changing, so Union...

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Dirt Moving for New Near North Hotel
Sep18

Dirt Moving for New Near North Hotel

One of our more alert readers noticed that earth movers have started moving earth at the northwest corner of Clark and Huron Streets.  Clark and Huron is a former surface parking lot that has tried to better itself a number of times in the last decade, with the wheel of fortune finally landing on a 215-room hotel late last year. Near North Spy Jody checked in to our tip line with pictures of 100 West Huron, or at least the ruckus and...

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Chicago Gets a New Downtown Spire
Sep18

Chicago Gets a New Downtown Spire

The Chicago Spire is like the big mole on Aunt Margie’s chin with the hair growing out of it: Everyone knows all about it, but nobody will talk about it for fear of embarrassment. While the plan to put up a 150-story, 2,000-foot-tall spire on Chicago’s lakefront failed and is only spoken of in hushed tones, a more modest spire has managed to silently climb into the River North Skyline. It’s the spire at the new...

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Fifty Floors and Still Rising at One Bennett Park
Sep14

Fifty Floors and Still Rising at One Bennett Park

One of our favorite construction projects of 2017 has reached a milestone.  Construction at One Bennett Park, the condos-over-apartments stack at 451 East Grand Avenue has reached the 50th floor. That means with this latest concrete pour, the Related Midwest skyscraper is at 71% of its eventual 70-floor stature.  If you’d like to measure its progress in height, then it’s up to 540 feet; or 65% of its eventual 836-foot...

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Downtown Chicago Apple Flagship To Open October 20
Sep12

Downtown Chicago Apple Flagship To Open October 20

The opening of the new Steve Jobs theater at Apple Park in Cupertino, California wasn’t the only architecture news of note today. During Apple’s annual iPhone presentation, a portion of the show was given over to the technology company’s Senior Vice President of Retail, Angela Ahrendts. She let the world know that the new Apple Store at Pioneer Court on Michigan Avenue will open October 20th. “Our team has...

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