In the context of schemes for gigantic new downtown office buildings, a six-story, 100,000-square-foot building in Chinatown hardly registers. Then again, it would be the most significant new construction in the area in years. First illuminated by Ben Meyerson of the Chicago Journal back in April, more info has just arrived courtesy of Crain's. Cleveland-based Windfall Group USA is under contract to buy a vacant triangular parcel at Archer and Wentworth pinned between the bustling nodes of the Chinatown Square Mall and CTA station. That makes it, without dispute, one of the most attractive undeveloped parcels in Chinatown. Indications from the springtime were that the developer was close to breaking ground. However, even though financing talks are underway for the $18M structure, the city has potential interest in rerouting Wentworth which would tear up the site. Clearly not what the developer wants to see happen. As for the community, we're not sure. Neither is Ald. Danny Solis of the 25th ward. He says he will support whichever side produces the most information and surest financing.
Should the building go up, it'll likely be anchored by an 18,000-square-foot CPL branch and a ground floor supermarket/food court with small retail on the second and third floors and offices above. Upper floor retail would be a serious gamble anywhere but Chinatown. High retail occupancy rates and above-average population density make it a more reasonable endeavor, although the upper terrace level of Chinatown Square Mall doesn't appear to be thriving commercially. Even though Windfall is already engaged in on-site marketing, they still have some daunting hurdles to clear. We should know its fate soon.
·Developer envisions six-story building in Chinatown [Crain's]
·Library looks to escape bind [Chicago Journal]