For more than a decade, we’ve been chronicling the transformation of Chicago’s Loop-adjacent neighborhoods from quiet, if a little rough, urban enclaves into full-fledged extensions of the downtown skyscraper forest.
One of the areas that ate up the “build early, build often” mantra was Greektown, West Town, and the Near West Side. Together they’re known to real estate agents as the “West Loop,” even though there is already another neighborhood with that name.
While some are predicting the end of the downtown building boom, the paperwork keeps on flying down at City Hall. Take a look at this map, drawn from next week’s Chicago Plan Commission agenda.
Each red arrow is a new building asking permission to sink roots into this fertile frontier.
- 330 North Green Street — a 19-story, 281-foot-tall office building
- 333 North Green Street — a 20-story, 295-foot-tall office building
- 345 North Morgan Street — a nine-story, 133-foot-tall retail building with a movie theater
- 360 North Green Street — a 21-story, 298-foot-tall office building
- 800 North Milwaukee Avenue — a seven-story, 99-foot-tall residential building
- 801 West Lake Street — an 18-story, 290-foot-tall office building
Notice how four of the five buildings destined for the area around Chicago’s former meatpacking district are office buildings. Call it the “Google glow” or the “McDonald’s stank,” but when you get a major corporation to move in, others smell opportunity and follow.
The blue arrow is actually pointing at the little, long, yellow building across the street at 171 North Green Street. No building is proposed for that site — yet. But Bridgford Foods is asking the city to change its zoning to separate it from the Planned Development across the street, giving it its own independent DX-5 zoning. It’s a sure sign that something’s coming.