Near North Firehouse Plan Returns as a 29-Story Office Tower
Jul23

Near North Firehouse Plan Returns as a 29-Story Office Tower

The 2017 plan to replace the Chicago Engine Company 42 fire station with a skyscraper is back in play.  At a public meeting last week, Friedman Properties unveiled its more fully-realized notion for the space — a 29-story office tower designed by Goettsch Partners. The fire station won’t go away.  Instead, a new 29,000 square-foot fire station will be incorporated into the new skyscraper, making the firefighters of 42 house...

Read More
New Downtown Chicago Fire Station Comes With a Big Question Mark
Jul09

New Downtown Chicago Fire Station Comes With a Big Question Mark

Chicago has explored a number of public/private partnerships in recent years.  Things like putting libraries inside apartment buildings, and tea houses in parks.  Now one of the city’s downtown fire stations may be the next city facility hop on the bandwagon. In a remarkably detail-free e-mail to his constituents, 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly announced that the Engine Company 42 building at 444 North Dearborn Street may be...

Read More
It’s Starting to Look a Little Like London in Chicago’s Near North
Jun27

It’s Starting to Look a Little Like London in Chicago’s Near North

We love Chicago skyscrapers.  Who doesn’t?  But too many skyscrapers can make a city look like a mess.  Walking down the streets of Hong Kong, you can’t appreciate the architecture because you can’t see it towering above you. Chicago, on the other hand, is a variety pack of architecture styles and sizes.  Even the new construction.  Take, for example, the Chestnut Row Homes in the Near North neighborhood. The...

Read More
Chicago River’s Newest Residential Tower Tops Out
May09

Chicago River’s Newest Residential Tower Tops Out

The latest high rise shouldering in for a view of the Chicago River has topped out. The ceremonial final steel beam for Renelle on the River was recently hoisted into place at the top of the building at 403 North Wabash Avenue. Renelle is slotted ever-so-gently between Trump International Hotel and Tower and River Plaza, giving its residents singular views of the heart of Chicago. It has just 45 condominiums in its 18 stories because...

Read More
New Downtown Townhomes Look Pretty Snazzy
Apr11

New Downtown Townhomes Look Pretty Snazzy

Remember those townhouses we told you about back in 2015 that were going to fill in the hole at the corner of Clark and Chestnut?  If you haven’t been by to gape recently, they look pretty darned snazzy. Of course, we’re big skyscraper fans.  But you can’t see the skyscrapers if there’s nothing but skyscrapers to see.  Mixing up the land use pattern creates nice view corridors, and this cluster of high-rent,...

Read More
No More Arches; New Downtown Flagship McDonald’s Embraces the Modern Aesthetic
Jan31

No More Arches; New Downtown Flagship McDonald’s Embraces the Modern Aesthetic

For the second time since we started this publication, the flagship McDonald’s restaurant at Clark and Ontario in Near North is being torn down and replaced by a better, shinier McDonald’s. The last time this happened was back in 2005, when the Rock-n-Roll McDonald’s was razed to make way for the current massively be-arched hamburger joint.  In spite of the musical memorabilia being relegated to a kiosk in the...

Read More
Chicago’s Newest Riparian Residences Ready to Rise
Oct04

Chicago’s Newest Riparian Residences Ready to Rise

As the Chicago River is transformed from the city’s much-abused industrial toilet into a blue-green floe of aquatic wonder, more and more buildings are muscling in — trying to secure their place next to the shimmering belle of the ball. The newest entrant is Renelle on the River (403 North Wabash Avenue), an unlikely 18-story condominium building peeking out between the Trump International Hotel and Tower and the Wrigley...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More