New McCormick Place Marriott Won’t Miss Out on Rooftop Bar Trend
Nov28

New McCormick Place Marriott Won’t Miss Out on Rooftop Bar Trend

Whether it’s the neighborhood-friendly Hotel Godfrey in River North, or the new über-luxe hostelries squeezing in along the river, it seems like these days every new Chicago hotel wants to have a rooftop bar.  Aside from being a money-printing machine, they’re also a publicity bonanza in an era when every second of everyone’s lives is being snapbooked and facechatted to a salivating internet. The new Marriott...

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Another South Side Stadium Will Fly a Financial Flag
Nov16

Another South Side Stadium Will Fly a Financial Flag

Fifteen days after the White Sox ballpark officially became Guaranteed Rate Field, another nearby sporting palace has gotten a new name.  The DePaul University basketball arena, formerly known as the McCormick Place Events Center, will now be known as the Wintrust Arena. It’s hardly the first time that a home-grown financial powerhouse has used sports to leave national audiences scratching their heads.  In addition to the...

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More Change Planned For the Region’s Number One Tourist Attraction
Jul28

More Change Planned For the Region’s Number One Tourist Attraction

The same people who brought New York its famous High Line have unveiled their latest vision for Navy Pier. As we’ve noted before, renovation and expansion plans for Navy Pier aren’t exactly rare animals.  Sometimes it seems like you can set your clock by the semi-regular parade of proposals that come down the pike and, for the most part, fail to turn into anything real.  But the ‘Pier is getting more serious these...

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Marriott Making its Marquis in Chicago
Jan21

Marriott Making its Marquis in Chicago

Work is progressing on the new Marriott Marquis Chicago hotel, at 2121 South Prairie Avenue in the Prairie Avenue District. Slated for completion in 2017, the 39-story tower will provide 1,209 guest rooms and over 90,000 square feet of meeting space. The McPier development will be directly connected to McCormick Place, and features the renovation of the American Book Company building at 330 East Cermak Road. When we last visited,...

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McHugh’s McCormick-Area McHotel Clears a McHurdle
Sep05

McHugh’s McCormick-Area McHotel Clears a McHurdle

The Chicago Landmarks Commission has approved McHugh Development’s plan to build a 27-story hotel with attached retail space at the corner of South Michigan Avenue and East Cermak Road in the South Loop.  It’s the first of several approvals needed before construction can start on the hotel at 121 East Cermak Road. It’s proposed to have 650 rooms, a height of 320 feet, and 31,000 square feet of attached retail space....

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McPier Plan Progresses as Prairie People Press Parking, Pileups and Pocket Parks Points
Aug25

McPier Plan Progresses as Prairie People Press Parking, Pileups and Pocket Parks Points

  The scaled-back plan to build a new hotel, a data center, and an arena on the edge of the Prairie Avenue District is marching forward, with proposals for two of the three components already in McPier’s hands. This past Friday was the deadline for companies to submit their proposals to the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (“McPier”) for the new Marriott Marquis hotel and the Events Center.  Earlier...

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New Pictures of the McCormick Place Event Center/DePaul Arena
Jun10

New Pictures of the McCormick Place Event Center/DePaul Arena

As the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority continues acquiring land, getting permits, and doing the things necessary to pull off its latest ambitious expansion plan, one of its partners is touting a new set of drawings of part of the project. DePaul University has released several new pictures of the proposed Events Center portion of the project, often called the “DePaul Arena.”  DePaul is chipping in $70 million...

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South Loop May Get Another New Hotel Tower, With or Without McPier
May30

South Loop May Get Another New Hotel Tower, With or Without McPier

Real estate development is a rather messy business. Not on par with sausage making, but certainly up there with cleaning out the cat’s litter box. Add in a bunch of politicians, some NIMBY groups, a shadowy quango, and the next thing you know, you’re where we are now: The McCormick Place Expansion Plan. We’ve followed this project for the last year or so. The Metropolitan Pier and Convention Authority, which runs...

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Preservation and McPier Learn To Live Together in the South Loop
Apr04

Preservation and McPier Learn To Live Together in the South Loop

When the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority announced plans for a half-billion dollar expansion from its lakeside perch into the surrounding neighborhood, it was as if a pack of rabid wolves was let loose in the South Loop. At public meetings, people howled and shouted about property values, traffic, and most importantly—historic preservation.  They didn’t mind the convention center complex oozing into the many, many...

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McPier Contracts McCormick Expansion, Motor Row Boutique Hotel to Wait
Jan29

McPier Contracts McCormick Expansion, Motor Row Boutique Hotel to Wait

  The organization that runs, and wants to expand, Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center has released its Plan B, after the original expansion plan unveiled last year ran into legal challenges. At a presentation earlier this week, executives and architects outlined how they’re going to get out of the current courtroom impasse, and get the expansion rolling. The new proposal shuffles some buildings around, and postpones the...

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