If you spent your time in quarantine thinking that the West Loop could use another skyscraper, there’s a chance you may get your wish.
West Loop Spy Kurt slotted the photograph above into our tip line recently. It shows some soil sampling sommeliers slurping select specimens from beneath the bitumen at 609ish West Randolph Street. Until recently, that was a surface parking lot serving Chicago’s hobnobby restaurants and the tourists that blog about them.
In the photo you can see the drilling rig punching holes in the ground. The white patches are places in the lot that were recently excavated and filled in with gravel.
Somebody wants to know what’s beneath the surface in this location, and is willing to hire people to probe those depths. In our experience, that means new construction is being contemplated. How much construction is hard to say.
The lot is zoned DX-7, so a developer could put up a seven-story building without much guff from city bureaucrats. Anything higher than that, and many papers will have to be shuffled. But considering the number of new skyscrapers going up in the immediate area, developers are willing to shuffle all the papers needed to do something substantial here. So don’t be surprised to see something tall and glassy rise from this slice of Randolph in the next year or so.