The Crain Communications Building, formerly the Stone Container Building and before that the London Guarantee Building, may soon acquire another identity. The Sun-Times is reporting that with the expected departure of Crain's (packing up for the long haul South to 150 N Michigan), the famous edifice, one of the 'four flanks' of the Michigan Ave Bridge, may loosely return to a shelved 2004 plan for some sort of hotel lodging.
New York City real estate mogul Joseph Chetrit, the building's owner, is said—by an anonymous confidant—to have interest once again in a hotel conversion and in expanding the building's waistline by absorbing the small vacant lot next door. That vacant Wacker-facing lot was once the focus of speculative plans for a 35-story condo. Alternately, Lucien Lagrange was hired in '04 to sketch out ideas for condos or hotel rooms above Crain's leased space. To our knowledge, no renderings emerged. Ah, the salad days. Speaking of Lagrange, Sun-Times columnist David Roeder caught up with him in Paris, where he offered some skepticism on Chetrit's degree of interest: "He invests in buildings to collect the rents. Redeveloping the property would be way too risky for him." With further-along lodging plans for nearby sites (Motor Club, Virgin, and IBM projects), whatever materializes will face competition, but it's hard to imagine the downtown hotel boom will produce many more surprises.
·Hotel reportedly in works for Boul Mich landmark [Sun-Times]
·2004 Tribune Article