Change Brewing on North Michigan Avenue
Jan16

Change Brewing on North Michigan Avenue

Permits have been issued for the nearly $10 million transformation of the former Crate and Barrel flagship store on the Magnificent Mile into a new mega Starbucks. INTERIOR & EXTERIOR ALTERATIONS (GROUND THROUGH 5TH FLOOR) FOR SHELL & CORE ONLY TO INCLUDE NEW ROOF DECK OF AN EXISTING FIVE (5) STORY MERCANTILE BUILDING AS PER PLANS. The four-story building at 646 North Michigan Avenue opened in 1990, and it shaped like a (wait...

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The Last Empty Lakeshore Lot in Downtown Chicago Gets Filled In
Jan08

The Last Empty Lakeshore Lot in Downtown Chicago Gets Filled In

The official groundbreaking has been marked for 61 Banks Street, a new residential mid-rise that will rise midly on the corner of East Banks Street and North Lakeshore Drive in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood.  This was the only open, developable land along the lakefront between the Chicago River and Diversey Harbor. The new apartment block is a project of Draper and Kramer, and designed by Booth Hansen in the West Loop.  It...

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Alderman Stalls One Chicago Square Towers
Dec05

Alderman Stalls One Chicago Square Towers

Second Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins has asked that the $700 million One Chicago Square project be scotched from the agenda for the Chicago Plan Commission’s December 21st meeting.  At that meeting, the commissioners could have approved the project, which would have sent it sailing through the rest of city council and on to the construction phase. Citing intense interest, and the sheer size of the project, which would build...

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Holy Name Tower Gets a Name, Little Opposition
Oct24

Holy Name Tower Gets a Name, Little Opposition

Two weeks ago we told you about a proposal to fill the surface parking lot across the street from Holy Name Cathedral with a shiny new dual-skyscraper project.  Now we know a little more about it. About a dozen dozen people turned out for a public meeting about the $700 million complex, which is being called One Chicago Square (1 West Chicago Avenue).  The people in attendance at the event hosted by 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins...

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Plans Filed For Soaring Cathedral District Skyscraper, and Holy Name is it Big
Oct11

Plans Filed For Soaring Cathedral District Skyscraper, and Holy Name is it Big

For the third time in recent years, an underutilized Chicago Roman Catholic church parking lot will be replaced by a skyscraper.  This time, it’s across the street from Holy Name Cathedral; and as would seem appropriate for the parking lot of the archbishop, this thing is huge. “Seventy-six stories!” is what the headlines have been crying all day since the plans were filed with the city for what we’re going to...

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Why Fix It? City to Pave  Over its Gold Coast Problem
Oct09

Why Fix It? City to Pave  Over its Gold Coast Problem

If you’ve been hoping for the last decade that the City of Chicago might finally get around to repairing and re-opening the tunnels beneath the intersection of Michigan and Oak Street, forget it.  It’s not gonna happen. It’s been about ten years since the pedestrian conveniences were shuttered.  Each day hundreds of commuters used them to cross the intersection without having to stand on the corner waiting for a walk...

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The Sinclair is Now Officially Open for Business
Sep28

The Sinclair is Now Officially Open for Business

One of the most dramatic transformations in recent Gold Coast history has been pulled off by Fifield Companies, Jewel-Osco, and SCB. The Sinclair (1201 North LaSalle Street) had its grand opening this week, welcoming an estimated 1,201 guests to the new residential tower that now stands where a vaguely scary, certainly run-down Jewel-Osco glowered just a few years ago. Even the Gold Coast has gritty corners, and this was one of the...

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Viceroy Hotel Opens Its Doors in Chicago’s Gold Coast
Sep05

Viceroy Hotel Opens Its Doors in Chicago’s Gold Coast

The Hotel Cedar is dead, long live the Viceroy. Word on the street is that opening weekend was busy at the Viceroy Hotel (1112 North State Street), the location of the former Hotel Cedar. For years developers tried to turn the run-down brick pile into a chic new place for well-heeled tourists and locals to lay their heads, but faced opposition from NIMBY groups, and also neighbors with legitimate concerns about traffic and parking. A...

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No. 9 Walton Getting Yet Another Height Boost — And More
Aug21

No. 9 Walton Getting Yet Another Height Boost — And More

It might be time for the construction barriers surrounding No.9 Walton (9 West Walton Street) to be re-painted with the slogan “Here we grow again!” For the third time since it was first approved by the city, the skyscraper is going to get taller. Back in 2006, when toner first fused to paper on this project, it was going to be a respectable addition to the corner of State and Walton, joining its little sister Walton on...

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A Familiar Name Returns to Gold Coast Hospitality
Jul31

A Familiar Name Returns to Gold Coast Hospitality

Sometimes things are better just left alone.  Is Marshall Field’s better now that it’s Macy’s?  Are White Hen Pantries better now that they’re 7-Elevens?  Is First Chicago better now that it’s Chase?  The answer to all three is “no.” (Seriously, Chase’s web site goes down more often than a West Virginia coal miner.) But it’s hard for big corporations to admit that things should be...

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