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A 38 Story Tower May Replace River North's Howard Johnson

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If you've happened to wander around River North, you might have found yourself standing near the corner of Superior and LaSalle and wondering if you'd fallen into a time warp. Tucked into the one of the hottest areas for experimental boutique hotels, brunch restaurants, nightclubs, and top-dollar condos sits a Howard Johnson Inn that looks straight out of the early 1960s "motor lodge" boom that came along with the invention of the Oldsmobile and the Eisenhower Interstate. And while some find the two story throwback charming, it appears the ol' HoJo may not be around much longer. At a city council meeting yesterday, developers from Magellan Development and Mac Management proposed their plan to replace the motel with a new mixed-use development featuring a 38 story residential tower and over 10,000 square feet of retail.

Designed by local studio bKL Architecture, whose Wolf Point apartment tower just began construction, the plans proposed call for a height of 400 feet and 298 residences, though these things have a tendency to change as projects move through the approval process. The residential tower, which Crains predicts will be apartments rather than condos, will sit on the west side of the property closest to Wells street, while the Superior and LaSalle sides will be made up of a 5-story retail and parking structure. More preliminary design drafts and details for the project can be viewed here.

With all of the development going on around the Loop area, one wonders if River North -- which was the development darling of the last development boom -- was starting to feel left out. Now that apartments are the hot commodity, we'll have to wait and see how the condo capital of the downtown area takes to the idea of renters moving in.

This post was authored by Curbed Chicago contributor Aaron Dunlap.
· Developers' mojo could bring down River North Hojo's [Crain's]
· Dishing Up River North's HoJo Tower [CAB]