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61 W Erie Being Demolished to Make Way for New Condos

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The two-story former Astrolab building is being quickly converted to rubble

With a fresh permit in hand, crews have wasted little time starting the demolition of the two-story brick building at 61 W Erie that housed the Astrolab film processing company for nearly 50 years before shutting its doors in 2013. In its place, LG Development Group plans a 12-story, 10-unit high-end condo project. LG went to the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals last month for a special use permit for the building’s 12 indoor ground floor parking stalls. According to the ZBA’s website, a decision on LG’s request has been continued to April, but apparently had no effect on the firm's recently granted demolition permit.

Plans to bring luxury condominiums to the site were first announced by MCZ Development in the summer of 2013 with a 10-story, HPA-designed building revealed to the public. With zoning for the project approved in March of 2015, the DX-5 designated parcel did not require any additional variances when LG took over the site and increased the project’s height by two stories. 61 W Erie signals a gradual return of River North’s condo market with a handful of boutique projects in the works including a similarly-sized 13-story, 11-unit proposal slated for the former church located at 56 W Huron.

·61 W Erie Demolition Permit [Chicago Cityscape]

·Striking River North Condo Project Grows by Two Stories [Curbed Chicago]

·Suburban Developer Looks to Bring Eleven High-End Condo Units to Dearborn and Huron [Curbed Chicago]

·River North archives [Curbed Chicago]