During the boom, developer See Y. Wong and his company, Wabash Properties, announced some ambitious plans. Wong wanted to build an enormous hotel near the Cermak-Chinatown Red Line station, as well as a 14-story condo building at 1349 S. Wabash in the South Loop. Amazingly, after both of those projects either stalled or were permanently cancelled, he announced plans to build a highly ambitious condo-hotel development along Archer, near the Dan Ryan Expressway. Now, the Sun-Times reports Wong still plans to follow through with two of those projects. According to the S-T, Wong has purchased a warehouse at 2401 S. Archer, and he plans to move forward on Eastern Tower, a three-phase, mixed-use development.
Reading about new condo developments these days requires a little suspension of disbelief, but we'll play along. Besides, the Sun-Times says that Wong now has the backing of a Chinese investor. The first phase will be a seven-story building (pictured) with 96 condos. Future phases would include a hotel, a commercial element, a hotel, and of course, more condos. (Wong is one of the only developers in the city who apparently thinks that this is a good time to build more condos.) A website for Eastern Tower launched a couple years ago, and it shows all three phases, draped in enormous apparel ads.
But that's not all! Wong still hopes that his vision for the Grand Imperial Hotel will be realized, albeit in scaled-down form. According to Roeder, the hotel has been scaled back from 175 rooms to 100. Wong plans to do that development in phases too, starting with a 6,500-square-foot retail component, and following it up with the 12-story hotel.
· Chinatown project saved by funding from Chinese backers, phased plan [S-T]
· Official website: Eastern Tower [Wabash Properties]