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Erie Street hotel proposal shown to River North neighbors

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The glassy 15-story project would connect to the neighboring Dana Hotel

Jay Koziarz

Last night at a meeting hosted by Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd) and the River North Residents Association, developers took the wraps off of plans to construct a new 15-story hotel at 12-22 W. Erie Street. The so-called Erie Street Hotel (presumably a working title) comes from Neighborhood Development Corp. and Rebel Hospitality, the owner of the neighboring Dana Hotel and Spa at 660 N. State. The plan would replace a vacant lot and three low-rise structures on Erie, including one orange-rated historical building.

Expected to rise to 163 feet, the new development will feature 178 guest rooms, a ground floor restaurant, sidewalk cafe, outdoor pool, green roof, and a fully-enclosed event and conference space at its crown. Designed by Chicago-based Eckenhoff Saunders Architects, the building would be wrapped in a glass facade with vertical fins used to tie the building’s street level canopy to the safety glass of its 13th floor pool deck. The dual-loaded building’s elevator core and stairwell would be enclosed in architectural concrete.

A connection to the adjacent Dana Hotel on the development’s first and second floors would allow the two brands to pool and consolidate both guest amenities as well as back-of-house operations. Like the Dana, the new hotel will offer no on-site parking and instead utilize existing valet agreements to use the same nearby garages as its neighbor.

The 28-story proposal from 2014 (left) versus the current 15-story proposal (right)
Jay Koziarz

According to the presenters, the proposal actually started life as a 28-story proposal back in 2014 before being scaled down at the request of the Alderman. As currently proposed, the Planned Development (PD) seeks a density boost of 3.1 points of Floor Area Ratio and would pay roughly $1.5 million into Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund. The site’s underlying DX-5 zoning entitles the developers to build a slightly smaller 11-story, 149-foot building “as of right” and would bypass the community engagement process altogether.

Some concerned local residents, primarily from the neighboring building at 33 W. Huron, expressed qualms about additional vehicular traffic on Erie and took the opportunity to speak out regarding ongoing issues with the Dana. Many of the complaints revolved around both the noise and clientele of the Dana’s now-closed Vertigo Sky Lounge. Earlier this week, the Fifty/50 Restaurant Group announced that the Vertigo’s replacement—Apogee—will be more of an upscale craft cocktail lounge than a thumping DJ venue.

This upcoming change was mentioned at the meeting by Fifty/50 founder Scott Weiner as part of a larger plan to “retool” all of the Dana’s food and beverage offerings to better align with the community. The group plans to open a new seafood restaurant on the ground floor of the Dana and also be the operators of a new white table cloth, “locally sourced” concept anchoring the proposed Erie Street development.

Jay Koziarz
Jay Koziarz

While no approvals have been granted nor have any zoning applications been filed with the city, the development team estimates that the project could open in one-and-a-half to two years. It is expected to pay $2 million in annual hotel tax plus $500,000 in both real estate and food/beverage tax.