353 West Grand Debuts Tonight.  Again.
Jun18

353 West Grand Debuts Tonight.  Again.

Last week we told you that the residential skyscraper planned for the corner of Grand and Franklin in River North is back on.  Tonight we find out if it’s on like a lunch date with your mom, or on like Donkey Kong.  Whatever that means. Onni is the semi-familiar name behind this project to replace the old Clark and Barlow hardware store at 353 West Grand Avenue with 356 new homes in a 38-story tower.  The Canadian developer is...

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No Need To Worry About That $175 Million Bill For Obama Center Roadwork
Jun18

No Need To Worry About That $175 Million Bill For Obama Center Roadwork

Just when you thought the State of Illinois didn’t have two spare pennies to rub together, Springfield is sending a big fat gym bag full of cash to the Windy City to help make its former hometown President’s project a reality. The state, which was named America’s Most Messed Up State by CNN Money, is sending Chicago a $180 million grant from the road fund to pay for infrastructure projects.  97% of those tax dollars...

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New Chicago Office Building to be Aggressive on Being Passive
Jun12

New Chicago Office Building to be Aggressive on Being Passive

An ecological building idea born in the United States in the 1970’s, then refined in the colder regions of Europe in the 2000’s, is coming home to Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. The new building being put up by Gold Coast real estate developer Mark Goodman & Associates at 310 North Sangamon Street is going to be the largest “passive house” office building in the nation. “Passive house”...

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Three Years Later, a River North Skyscraper is Redesigned and Reproposed
Jun11

Three Years Later, a River North Skyscraper is Redesigned and Reproposed

It’s been a little while since the last proposal for a residential skyscraper in River North.  But things are starting to roll again. In an e-mail to constituents, 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly announced that 353 West Grand is in play again.  You may remember that address as the former home of the Clark and Barlow hardware store. It’s been a little over a year since we last wrote about this property.  Back in April of...

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Lendlease Rolls Out The Barrel for The Cooper at Southbank
Jun06

Lendlease Rolls Out The Barrel for The Cooper at Southbank

We were going to make a bunch of silly puns about barrels of monkeys, or being over a barrel, or fish in a barrel, but we won’t.  Except for that one in the headline about rolling out the barrel.  That was clever. In case you don’t know, “cooper” is another word for someone who makes barrels for a living.  And “The Cooper” is the name of a new residential building in the South Loop where you could...

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Putting the Finishing Touches on 900 West Washington 
Jun06

Putting the Finishing Touches on 900 West Washington 

The new Near West Side condo block going up at 900 West Washington is rapidly approaching completion.  900 West is expected to have its first new residents move in by the end of the summer. The 10-story building designed by Northworks Architects and Planners for TARIS Real Estate replaced a one-story office building that was actually not bad looking.  It had lots of glass and interesting angles, and was surprisingly modern looking for...

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More Shipping Container Retail Coming to Chicago
Jun04

More Shipping Container Retail Coming to Chicago

A recent fad in retailing is getting a big expansion in downtown Chicago.  Related Midwest is going to open a miniature shopping mall made of shipping containers. You may recall in 2013, Starbucks opened a coffee shop in Rogers Park that was built out of shipping containers.  And in January of last year, Avondale’s 34/Ten Architecture proposed a farmer’s market made out of shipping containers for the renovation of the...

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Construction Update Two-Fer: Vista and Bennett
Jun01

Construction Update Two-Fer: Vista and Bennett

As Chicago’s skyline transforms itself once again, it’s easy to get a little crick in your neck looking up all the time.  So, instead it’s better to look out. As in this view looking out from NEMA Chicago, taken by Joe Zekas of YoChicago! last week.  It shows the progress of the Vista Tower in Lakeshore East in the foreground, with One Bennett Park in Streeterville in the background. Unlike most cities which have a...

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Wolf Point East Becoming a Thing
May31

Wolf Point East Becoming a Thing

The second sister of Wolf Point is starting to look like a thing.  The photos above and below, sent in by River North Spy Chris, show the residential tower is just about ready to rise above street level. Wolf Point East is the second of three skyscrapers slotting into what used to be a surface parking lot in front of River North Point (350 North Orleans Street). Wolf Point West, designed by The Loop’s bKL Architecture, opened...

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Getting A-round to 727 West Madison
May30

Getting A-round to 727 West Madison

Chicago’s latest round skyscraper is climbing over Greektown, the Kennedy Expressway, and the West Loop beyond. 727 West Madison (née One South Halsted) sprouted in what used to be the parking lot for the Crowne Plaza hotel, on the southeast corner of Madison and Halsted.  It’s a Fifield project designed by Fitzgerald Associates, and is letting everyone know that it’s OK to build skyscrapers with curves again in...

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