Down-Zoning Requested to Put Up Small Hotel In Near North

It’s not unusual to see zoning requests filed with the city where a developer wants to reduce the zoning density of a parcel.  But almost always it’s so that the chunk of land in question can be combined with a neighboring property and then the whole shebang gets an enormous skyscraper dropped on it like a bookbag on the last day of school.  That’s not what’s happening at 61 West Erie Street.

September 2019 rendering of 61 West Erie. (via the Office of Alderman Brendan Reilly.)
September 2019 rendering of 61 West Erie. (via the Office of Alderman Brendan Reilly.)

Sixty-one is the location where LG Development wants to replace a three-story greystone and a vacant lot with a diminutive hotel with just five floors and 29 rooms.  Because this is downtown Chicago, you bet your bippy there’s ground floor retail, too.

The change is needed because that location was zoned for a 12-story condominium building in 2017.  Now that condos are out the window, it’s paperwork and lawyers and fax machines all around.  For you young’uns out there, a “fax machine” is a type of seasonal Lake Michigan trout.

61 West Erie is next to the Walgreens catty-corner from the flagship burger emporium that a certain local TV station continues to call the “Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s,” even though that building was torn down and replaced twice in the last two decades. 

But this won’t be a “hotel” in the traditional sense. It’s the Sonder project we told you about four months ago. Essentially, this will be an entire building of Airbnb-style vacation rentals, though it will be licensed and taxed as a real hotel. Still, as Sonder’s founder notes, this is not a hotel, it’s “alternative hospitality.”

There’s not much else to note about this development, other than the paperwork was filled out by LG’s very own Brian Goldberg, who crosses both his Z’s and his 7’s, which we find very classy.

  • Address: 57-63 West Erie Street
  • Zoning: PD1356 → DX-5
  • Developer: LG Development
  • Floors: 5
  • Height: 79 feet
  • Hotel rooms: 29
  • Retail space: 2,500 square feet
  • Automobile parking: two spaces

Location: 61 West Erie Street, Near North Side

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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