Union Station Transit Center Coming Together
Jan25

Union Station Transit Center Coming Together

Work continues in the West Loop on the Union Station Transit Center that will connect Amtrak and Metra passengers to CTA buses, while alleviating the traffic tie-ups long a part of everyday life on South Canal Street and West Jack Boulevard. It took awhile for progress to be visible here, beyond the digging up of the former surface parking lot, and foundation work. But now, the future bus shelters look a lot like, well, future bus...

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Idling Chicago Commuters Seeing Loop Link Progress
Sep04

Idling Chicago Commuters Seeing Loop Link Progress

When sitting in your car or on your bus watching pedestrians zoom by, it can be difficult to accept a road construction project as being anything but a nuisance. But more often than not, we can see the intention of said nuisance and know it will be worth the temporary inconvenience when all is said and done. Since March, Chicagoans have been watching the Loop Link project slow things down through the heart of the downtown business...

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River Point Slips Into Something Tight and Shiny
Aug26

River Point Slips Into Something Tight and Shiny

River Point (444 West Lake Street) has been shrouded in mystery from the get-go. We’ve been able to watch the core grow up through the center of the tower, but all the exterior work has been covered, shielding outsiders from peering in. So it was a delight to wander past River Point last week and see the curtain raised just enough to reveal its latest outfit: glass. Luxurious, curved, blue-sky-reflecting glass. According to...

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South Loop/East Pilsen to Sport Another Supermarket
Mar19

South Loop/East Pilsen to Sport Another Supermarket

With the surge in the number of people living in the South Loop and Chinatown, the number of grocery stores in the area continues to grow as well. The newest location will be 400 West 18th Street, just across the river from Chinatown’s Ping Tom Park. The new store is technically in the East Pilsen neighborhood on the east side of South Canal Street between 17th and 18th. Currently, the location is a vacant lot. An organization...

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Status Update: River Point Starting to Grow
Feb17

Status Update: River Point Starting to Grow

River Point (444 West Lake Street) is starting to take off.  The future 52-story skyscraper’s concrete core has reached about level nine, according to the photograph sent in this morning by Fulton River District Spy Mike.  When finished, the tower hard against North Canal Street will climb 730 feet into the sky, gazing directly down the main channel of the Chicago River. In exchange for the sunsets that used to be visible from...

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[Interactive] Old Post Office Plan Approved with 100-Story Tower, But 170-Story Skyscraper Will Wait
Jul21

[Interactive] Old Post Office Plan Approved with 100-Story Tower, But 170-Story Skyscraper Will Wait

Fantastic news for people tired of seeing that massive dead post office sulking over the Eisenhower Expressway in the West Loop: The plan to turn it into an enormous residential, retail, and office complex has cleared its final major hurdle. The building was abandoned in 1996, and every few years someone seems to come along with a plan for turning it into something or other, but to date none have worked out.  This latest one is the...

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A Third Skyscraper Wants to Call the Edge of the Chicago River Home [updated]
Jul17

A Third Skyscraper Wants to Call the Edge of the Chicago River Home [updated]

The confluence of the Chicago River and the North Branch is getting its third major skyscraper project in recent years. The property formerly known as 400 West Randolph Street is now going by the name of 150 North Riverside, and its developers, John O’Donnell and U.S. Equities, are putting up one of the few remarkable office building designs the city has seen in a long time. Like River Point, its neighbor currently under...

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Status Update: The Maxwell
Aug21

Status Update: The Maxwell

The old warehouses are gone, and the foundations are being prepared for The Maxwell, the new mixed-use development coming to the South Loop. If you’re having a hard time placing it, it’s across Canal Street from the South Loop Whole Foods, and down the street from the Roosevelt Collection.  There’s been a lot of talk lately about this becoming the next Clybourn Corridor as more and more people move into the South...

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Union Station Master Plan Finished
Jun01

Union Station Master Plan Finished

The Union Station Master Plan has been completed, and it doesn’t look all that much different from the proposals put forth by Amtrak, Metra, and the Chicago Department of Transportation at the beginning of the process last year. First, a little background — Union Station is a mess.  Short-sightedness on the part of people in the 1960’s who thought that passenger rail service in America was dying led to infrastructure...

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Two New Skyscrapers, Otherwise a Modest Future for Union Station

Last night Amtrak and the Chicago Department of Transportation detailed plans for the future of Chicago’s Union Station. Union Station is the last of the historic train stations still active in Chicago. On an average weekday, it handles almost 120,000 local, regional, and long-distance Metra and Amtrak passengers. The station is at capacity, yet Metra wants to run 40% more trains into Union Station in the next 30 years, so...

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