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Nobu Hotel May Soon Rise Along Randolph's 'Restaurant Row'

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New activity on-site could mean construction is just around the corner

This week, the presence of soil testing equipment at the empty lot at 848-56 W. Randolph Street marks an encouraging milestone for the long-delayed Nobu hotel that was first pitched to Fulton Market residents in the spring of 2014. Since then, the plan evolved after some neighborly teeth-gnashing and the initial twelve-story, 155-key concept was cut down to an eight-story design with 83 guest rooms. A proposed 10,000-square-foot restaurant and rooftop terrace managed to survive the downsizing.

While updated renderings of the Nobu project appeared on architect Booth Hansen’s website earlier this year, the actual building site has been very quiet since the pared-down version of the plan received its city of Chicago for approvals in the summer of 2015. Typically a precursor to construction, this week’s testing could mean the empty lot at Randolph and Peoria may soon be abuzz with activity.

Nobu is one of four new hotel projects slated for the Fulton Market District, joining the likes of the Ace, the Hoxton, and a hotel concept from Equinox fitness clubs. Meanwhile Fulton Market’s first boutique hotel — the highly-acclaimed Soho House — is reportedly for sale. The 40-key hotel and private club opened in 2014 and could fetch as much as $125 million, according to Crain’s.