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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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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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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8 East Huron Ready to Sign on the Dotted Line
Sep07

8 East Huron Ready to Sign on the Dotted Line

If you’re looking for luxury digs near Holy Name Cathedral, but don’t feel like spending $70 million to combine the top four floors of an unnamed hyper-lux skyscraper under construction nearby, CA Ventures has the building for you. You can now pre-live at 8 East Huron, the 26-story Valerio Dewalt Train Associates-designed building that recent went into pre-leasing mode on the corner of State and Huron in the city’s...

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Construction Crews Pounding Sand at Wolf Point East
Sep06

Construction Crews Pounding Sand at Wolf Point East

Word on the street is that living near Wolf Point has gone from the dirge of caisson drilling to the relentless pounding of sheet piling being pounded relentlessly. Loop Spy Chris sent in the photograph above showing the ongoing pounding underway at 313 West Wolf Point Plaza.  But we’re told that mere pictures can’t capture the noise and vibrations rippling through the neighborhood.  Such is life in the big city. Before...

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Bell Rings For New South Loop Elementary School
Sep05

Bell Rings For New South Loop Elementary School

For years, Chicago’s downtown parents have lobbied for more schools in the heart of the city.  And the recent influx of hipsters, empty-nesters, and extended families has made the demand even greater. Those anxious parents should get a smidgeon of relief in a little over a year now that City Hall has issued permits for the construction of a new South Loop Elementary School: NEW CONSTRUCTION OF 4-STORY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL; TYPE 1B...

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