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South Loop Boom Continues with Two Projects Heading to Plan Commission

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A Michigan Avenue rental tower and McCormick Place hotel are on the agenda

While Chicago’s West Loop was this month's big winner with three large projects headed to next week’s Plan Commission meeting at City Hall, the booming South Loop neighborhood is showing no sign of slowing its current constriction craze with two new highrise proposals of its own up for official review. Here is a preview next week’s agenda:

1326 S Michigan

Chicago-based developer MB Real Estate presented their all-glass rental tower at 1326 S Michigan to neighbors in September as a 48-story, 590-foot, 500-unit building with 297 parking spots and ground floor commercial space. At a second community meeting in February, DNAinfo reported that the tower had been cut down to 515 feet and 46 stories with parking reduced to 239 stalls and the plan for a new curb cut on Michigan Avenue abandoned in favor of less disruptive vehicular access from an adjacent alleyway. The legal notice from the Plan Commission indicates that the roof has come down once again with a building height of 488 feet. While the height chop may disappoint skyscraper fans, urbanists can take solace in the news that the latest documentation has parking reduced to 180 spots — roughly 60 percent of what was originally proposed. Unit count will remain at 500 apartments.

Penned by Chicago’s Soloman Cordwell Buenz (SCB), 1325 S Michigan’s design still features the chamfered corner detail that is evocative of both Norman Foster’s lantern-like Hearst Tower in New York and the "stacked frustum" geometry of Jeannie Gang’s upcoming supertall Vista Tower at Lakeshore East. If approved by the Plan Commission and the full Chicago City Council, the developers are hopeful for tenant occupancy to start some time in 2018.

2109-2135 S Wabash

Also designed by SCB is Draper and Kramer’s mixed-use hotel and apartment combo slated for McCormick Place. Located on northeast corner of Cermak and Wabash, the proposal called for 144 hotel rooms and 250 apartments. According to the Plan Commission agenda, the number of apartments has risen slightly to 275 units since the first public presentation in September. Parking remains relatively low at just 103 stalls thanks to the project’s transit-oriented designation due to its close proximity to the newly opened Cermak CTA station. The DK development is part of a trio of new hotels headed to the new McCormick Place Entertainment District. It joins the 500-room Antunovich-designed McHugh hotel planned for 111 E Cermak and McPier’s Marriott Marquis hotel under construction at 2121 S Prairie.

·Developer Cuts Height on Proposed South Michigan Avenue Tower [DNAinfo]

·New 48-Story Apartment Project Planned for the South Loop [Curbed Chicago]

·Transit-Oriented Hotel, Apartments Coming to McCormick [Curbed Chicago]

·Previous South Loop coverage [Curbed Chicago]