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Construction Continues in the Red Hot West Loop Area

With Chicago in the midst of a busy construction cycle, it's easy for smaller projects to get lost in the crowd. Here's a quick look at two projects well underway in the West Loop.

At 118 North Jefferson Street, the new Hampton Inn/Homewood Suites is on the rise. The dual hotel will be placed within a single 23-story tower. 210 rooms will be operated under the Hampton Inn brand, while an additional 126 rooms will be placed under the Homewood suites flag. Combining two or more hotels in a single building has become a common practice with a few examples scattered around downtown Chicago, including the new Aloft/Hyatt Place/Fairfield Inn trio and the Springhill Suites/Residence Inn within River North and the recently re-branded Avenue Hotel under the Hampton Inn/Homewood Suites banner as well.

In doing multiple hotels in one building, different types of rooms with different levels of finishes, sizes and price points can be offered while sharing common areas and back of house operations. As such, the new hotels at 118 North Jefferson perched above 7,500 square feet of new ground level retail will share an indoor pool, 4,900 square feet of meeting rooms, two business centers and an outdoor landscaped terrace. The project being developed by Chicago-based Jupiter Realty Company and Boston-based Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation has reached the second and third floors with the reinforced concrete frame of the 105-space parking garage now taking shape.

Meanwhile at Halsted and Lake Streets, the new 29-story, 227-unit apartment tower designed by Booth Hansen Architects is now starting to fly as work crews have hit their stride after completing the podium floors for the amenity deck and a 162 space parking garage. The project being developed by Focus Construction, Shapack Partners and Atlantic Realty Partners will likely be topped out by the end of October at the rate it's now climbing. The distinctive half elliptical shape of tower is now visible in the frame of the structure.

Also nearby and in case you missed it, another apartment building finished January this year was flipped and sold in May for $75 million to New York based Clarion Partners. Circa 922 as it's known, fills out the 100 block of North Sangamon Street with a new 104 unit, 11 story building and an older loft conversion next door with 45 units. The newer steel framed building was designed by FitzGerald Associates Architects.

Shawn Ursini