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‘Restaurant Row’ buildings prepare to bite the dust for new hotel/condo tower

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The vacant cluster of buildings lining Randolph between Halsted and the Kennedy is finally coming down

If Related Midwest wasn’t busy enough with One Bennett Park, Chicago Spire site, and the redevelopment of 62 acres of riverfront real estate in the South Loop, the company’s plan for an Equinox fitness-branded hotel/condominium high-rise in the West Loop could also soon see action. Reported by Crain’s late last year, the proposed tower would rise 369-feet and contain a mix of 145 hotel rooms and 20 high-end condos, replacing a cluster of shuttered low-rise buildings on Randolph just west of the Kennedy Expressway.

A demolition permit to take down the easternmost existing building at 725 W. Randolph was issued earlier this month, followed last week by permits for its neighbors at 727, 729, and 731 W. Randolph. While Related has not filed a zoning request for the project, many of these lots are already tied to a Planned Development (PD) passed by the Chicago City Council in early 2014. That project specified a 370-foot, 220-unit tower designed by architect SMDP featuring automated parking.

Though the previous plan ultimately stalled, it remains to be seen what precisely Related Midwest and partner Equinox have planned for the Randolph site. Given the nearly identical heights of both proposals, it’s possible that the developer is taking over/amending PD 1230. Related executed a somewhat similar maneuver resurrecting the stillborn condo tower at 1035 W. Van Buren into a rental project designed by Morris Adjmi and Chicago’s GREC.