Plans to bring condos to 61 W. Erie were first revealed back in the summer of 2013 when it was reported that Chicago-based MCZ Development had purchased the two-story River North building that housed Astrolab, a film processing company famous for treating the footage used in all of John Hughes' movies and scenes from Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight." Renderings of the ultra modern maze-like wood and concrete ten-story tower were revealed in 2015 along with pricing for its eight units ranging from $1.7 million up to $2.9 million for the duplex penthouse. Though zoning for the Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture-designed project was approved by the city in spring of 2015, a period of virtual radio silence soon followed. Luckily, it appears now that the 61 W. Erie condo project is still on course but with an updated design and a new developer at the helm.
According to this month's agenda for the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals, the project is now under the control of LG Development Group. The building, which is seeking a special use permit for residential ground level parking, has also grown in size from ten to twelve stories and now includes ten residential units instead of the original eight. It is unclear if the design of the up-sized project will stay true to HPA's modern vision, but it's safe to assume that units in the new building will still cost a considerable chunk of change and will feature price appropriate top-of-the-line fixtures. Access to the building's 12 at-grade parking spaces will likely come through the existing alleyway next to the neighboring Walgreen's drive-through lane, provided this aspect of the design has not changed. 61 W. Erie will join a small but growing number of new luxury condos entering the River North market with 400 W. Huron, No. 9 Walton, and 800-820 N. Wells.
·Zoning Approved for This Striking River North Condo Project [Curbed Chicago]
·River North archives [Curbed Chicago]