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Two More Downtown High-Rise Proposals to Break Cover Next Week

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A long-announced River North hotel and Fulton River residential project will make their debut

Chicago's building boom has seen a number of downtown parking lots disappear under shiny new glass and concrete towers. Showing no signs of slowing, this trend looks to continue as two more surface lots in Chicago’s central core have been tapped for potential redevelopment. According to downtown Alderman Brendan Reilly’s weekly email newsletter, proposals for a new River North hotel and a Fulton River District residential high-rise are both scheduled to break cover at separate meetings early next week.

First up is the lot described as 430-438 N. LaSalle Street and 142-150 W. Hubbard Street. While an earlier zoning application called for a 17-story, 200-foot hotel, Alderman Reilly’s meeting notice outlined a slightly enlarged 18-story, 224-foot design to be shown to River North residents.

Slated for the southeastern portion of the U-shaped series of parking lots that wrap around the protected three-story, terra cotta-clad Veseman Building at 444 N LaSalle, the yet-to-be-named hotel would contain 199-keys, a ground floor restaurant space, and a rooftop bar and terrace. No on-site parking will be provided.

Troy, Michigan-based developer the Porritt Group has tapped fellow Michigan firm Saroki Architecture to handle design. More information and a better look at the project will take place next Monday (June 20) at a 6:00 PM meeting at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North located at 350 W. Wolf Point Plaza Drive.

The following evening, Alderman Reilly and the Neighbors of West Loop organization will host a forum for JDL Development to present plans for a 27-story residential project earmarked for 217 N. Jefferson Street in the Fulton River District. While the development site is not the largest of parking lots, the proposal’s relatively low unit count of 94 works out to an average of less than four residences per floor — perhaps a clue that the project may buck the recent rental trend and instead build condos. Plans also call for ground level commercial/retail space plus a 96-car garage.

A search through the city legislative database revealed little information and nothing in the way of preliminary drawings, so all will be revealed at the Tuesday, June 21 meeting scheduled for 6:00 PM at Carnivale Restaurant (702 W. Fulton Street). Developer JDL is busy as of late, recently completing 1000 S. Clark in the South Loop and breaking ground on the No. 9 Walton condo development in the Gold Coast plus a modern 251-unit residential tower rising at the former River North Ed Debevic’s site.

UPDATE: An article appearing today in Crain's Chicago Real Estate Daily has shed additional light on the Jefferson Street proposal. JDL president Jim Letchinger confirmed to Crain's that the project will indeed consist of condominiums. Prices are expected to start around $800,000 for smaller units in the 1,200 to 1,300-foot range and could approach $3 million for the larger penthouse units. The glassy 27-story tower is penned by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) of Chicago.