Planned Riverside Hotel/Office Tower Design Tweaked, Still Looks Fabulous

Remember that plan from three years ago where someone wanted to wedge yet another hotel in along the Chicago River?  Well, that someone is still pounding away at it.

August 2016 rendering of 322 North Clark
August 2016 rendering of 322 North Clark

The plan for 322 North Clark Street was to jam a 369-foot-tall HKS-designed hotel into the surface parking lot behind the Reid Murdoch Building.  The proposal was floated by Friedman Properties and included 500 hotel rooms, 85,000 square feet of office space, and a rooftop terrace.  

The city approved the building way back in 2016, which is 28 years ago if you let a dog maintain your calendar.  But it hasn’t been all Milk Bones and belly rubs at the drafting table for this project.  The developers have asked the city for a couple of slight adjustments in their plans.

The first adjustment in question is permission to let the new office and hotel tower encroach on the historic Reid Murdoch Building. A bit.  Not much.  But enough to require permission. 

And the second is for an adjustment to the boundaries of this project so that the building can have a cantilever.  

October 2019 diagram of 322 North Clark Street
October 2019 diagram of 322 North Clark Street

We said, “Yes, please!” before the pixels were even dry on the screen, but city government takes a while longer.  The request was submitted in the spring, and the Landmarks commission approved it back in May.  Now the DPD has signed off on it, which is exciting for two reasons.

First: Cantilever!

Second: When the DPD approves a change to an already approved building plan, the builder has 12 months to start work on it, or bad things happen that can only be corrected by expensive lawyers.  So that means this new tower should be underway by the time you’re shopping for your dog’s 2020 Christmas present.

Location: 322 North Clark Street, Near North

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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