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Will the West Loop Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Stand at 11 Stories?

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The latest plans show a taller building for 854 W. Randolph Street

The Nobu hotel and restaurant has been in the works for years, but last week, it appeared that construction on the long-planned project for the northeast corner of Randolph and Peoria had finally begun. However, it appears that the design and density of the building may have changed once again. According to new drawings from modif architecture, the project may end up topping off at 11 stories with a setback 12th level. The architects at Booth Hansen had previously worked on the project, which in its last iteration, stood at eight stories. The original plan, which was unveiled exactly two years ago, proposed a 12-story building for the site.

According to the Planned Development (PD) presented to the Chicago Plan Commission last July, the maximum height allowed for the development is 104 feet, with 83 hotel rooms. The PD also indicates that the development will feature a green roof covering 50% of the total roof area, as well as seek LEED certification. A specific floor count is not spelled out in the PD that was approved by the city, although the developer announced that the building would be scaled down to eight stories months before it was introduced to the Chicago Plan Commission.

Despite the changing design and heights for the development, the tipster who sent us this latest PD document suggests that the developers may have paid into the city’s brand new Neighborhood Opportunity Fund to get the added density. The new ordinance, which expands the borders for the downtown area and allows real estate developers to simply pay into the fund for the right to construct taller projects, went into effect on June 1. However, it is unclear if the rules of the new ordinance applies to older proposals that were presented to the City Council before the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund ordinance passed. Although it appears that in this case the Nobu plan may be taking advantage of the opportunity to pay for added density.