New Hope (or Not) for 500 North Milwaukee (Again)
Dec02

New Hope (or Not) for 500 North Milwaukee (Again)

We don’t do a lot of real estate news around here.  But when it comes to the grey-slathered pile of boards known as 500 North Milwaukee Avenue, we’ll make an exception. That’s because 500 North Milwaukee is consistently the building we receive the most e-mails about.  Neighbors, commuters, and fans of downtown wonder how it is that such a prime location can be the home of such a dilapidated building. We last checked...

Read More
SOAR Gives Latest Streeterville Skyscraper a Big Thumb’s Up
Dec02

SOAR Gives Latest Streeterville Skyscraper a Big Thumb’s Up

This past summer, friends-of-the-blog Related Midwest made big waves in the Chicago skyscraper enthusiast community by promising to change the city’s skyline with its new project, 451 East Grand. Related hired a big-name New York architect, picked a primo spot right along the lakefront, and unveiled a design that is a serious departure from the brick-on-a-block tower-and-podium designs that are the norm in this midwest burg. So,...

Read More
545 North McClurg Good to Go; Construction to Begin Any Second Now
Sep30

545 North McClurg Good to Go; Construction to Begin Any Second Now

Gentlemen, start your bulldozer engines! The City of Chicago has issued construction permits for the foundation of 545 North McClurg, the 45-story mixed-use development formerly known as 410 East Grand. Designed by friends-of-the-blog, SCB, it is a joint project between Chicago’s Golub and Boston’s The General Investment and Development Companies.  G.I.D. describes the building thusly: The project will be constructed on...

Read More
It’s Going to be Huge: Details and Diagrams of 451 East Grand
Sep15

It’s Going to be Huge: Details and Diagrams of 451 East Grand

  It’s big.  Really big.  Really quite big.  The biggest building to hit North Lake Shore Drive since… well… ever.  We’re talking about Realted Midwest’s 451 East Grand Avenue, the new residential tower designed by New York’s Robert A. Stern & Associates, and proposed to be built right behind Related’s first Chicago tower, the ever-so-shiny 500 Lake Shore Drive. While it’s true...

Read More
Welcome, 410 East Grand. It’s Been a Long Time Coming
Sep03

Welcome, 410 East Grand. It’s Been a Long Time Coming

One sign of a recovering economy is real estate developers jockeying to build new buildings so that they’re ready when the economy improves.  An even better sign is when old projects that seemed dead get pulled off the shelves, dusted off, and actually happen. That’s the case at 410 East Grand Avenue in Streeterville.  We started reporting on it in 2011, but its history goes back further than that.  But since it was...

Read More
Streeterville Citizens Take New Skyscraper Scheme In Stride, But Fret About Park and Parking
Jul29

Streeterville Citizens Take New Skyscraper Scheme In Stride, But Fret About Park and Parking

Even in the high-altitude environs of Streeterville, a proposed 67-story building will draw a bit of attention. Last night, a packed house at the InterContinental Hotel listened politely and intently to a detailed description of Related Midwest’s plans to build a new residential skyscraper at 451 East Grand. Then, they lined up to speak their mind. The comments focused on the usual: height (“Why not just stop at 28 stories?” asked one...

Read More
Piecing Together Streeterville’s Newest Skyscraper
Jul16

Piecing Together Streeterville’s Newest Skyscraper

Chicago is not New York.  It can’t be said enough. Chicagoans wear black because we’re modest.  New Yorkers wear black because it’s fashionable.  Chicagoans wring their hands and worry about being a “global city.”  New Yorkers didn’t even know there was a contest. And when a New York real estate developer decides to build a new skyscraper, there’s a big announcement with balloons and dancing...

Read More
One of Chicago’s Worst Blocks May Finally Get Nuked and Rebuilt [updated]
Oct04

One of Chicago’s Worst Blocks May Finally Get Nuked and Rebuilt [updated]

With autumn here, we’re required by law to use fall references wherever we can. In this case, we’ll go with “One bad apple can spoil the bushel,” because that’s what people in the Fulton River District have been dealing with for as long as many people can remember. The bad apple is the smelly, boarded-up, eyesore of a building that squats on one of the corners of Grand, Milwaukee, and Halsted. It’s...

Read More
Status Update: Sidewalk in the Sky
Aug30

Status Update: Sidewalk in the Sky

  The $1,200,00 demolition and rebuilding of the elevated sidewalk along the south side of 535 North Michigan Avenue is underway. It is one of several double-decker sidewalks in the city of Chicago, and led pedestrians from North Michigan Avenue above East Grand Avenue to restaurants further down the block. While Chicagoans are used to using these elevated walkways to get around, they can look somewhat precarious to tourists.  This...

Read More
Famous Artist Beats Graffiti Artists to the Punch at a West Town Café
Aug13

Famous Artist Beats Graffiti Artists to the Punch at a West Town Café

  When Dan Staackmann built the natural food and vegan café Upton’s Breakroom, he considered the possibility that it might be tagged by a graffiti artist. Tagging isn’t uncommon in the West Town area where Upton’s opened three weeks ago. Staackmann decided to pre-empt any street artist interested in using his 2054 West Grand Avenue building as a canvas. He finished the precast concrete, steel, and glass building with an acid...

Read More