The plan to bring a combination residential/hotel development marketed under the Equinox Fitness Club brand to Chicago’s West Loop is finally coming into clearer focus. Reported originally in 2015 to be a 369-foot tower featuring 145 hotel rooms topped by 20 for-sale condominiums, the project at 725 W. Randolph has since grown considerably larger. According to zoning documents filed with the Chicago City Clerk, the latest plan now calls for a 680-foot skyscraper containing 165 hotel rooms and 370 residential units.
The project comes from Chicago-based developer Related Midwest who is in effect doubling down on the area after also submitting an application for a 51-story residential tower at Randolph and Peoria with partner Tucker Development. Equinox had announced plans to open as many as 75 fitness-oriented hotels around the world including a location at the Related Companies’ Hudson Yards megaproject in New York. Related acquired Equinox Fitness Clubs in 2006.
Contrary to earlier reports tapping New York-based Handel Architects to oversee the design, the 58-story Chicago tower comes from Perkins Eastman Architects and Roger Ferris + Partners. The plan also calls for an on-site fitness club, prominent exterior signage, and parking for 150 vehicles accessible via Court Place.
The project will require a zoning change in the form of amending existing Residential-Business Planned Development No. 1230. Prior to the involvement of Related and Equinox, an earlier scheme for the site called for a 370-foot, 220-unit tower designed by architecture firm SMDP Studio.
Proposed with an automated parking system that loaded and dispatched cars from berths like a giant vending machine, the project was approved by the Chicago City Council in 2014 but never materialized.
The ‘Restaurant Row’ site of the Equinox proposal was cleared of several dilapidated low-rise buildings last fall. Located just west of the Kennedy Expressway, the parcel is currently being used as a temporary surface parking lot.
- ‘Restaurant Row’ buildings bite the dust for new Equinox tower [Curbed Chicago]
- Equinox fitness chain plans West Loop hotel [Crain’s]
- Equinox Fitness Clubs Expand to Hotels [Wall Street Journal]