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Developer selected for Holy Name Cathedral’s block-sized parking lot

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While details of the deal are still being finalized, the parcel will reportedly fetch more than $110 million

Jay Koziarz

Almost a year after first marketing a parking lot across from Holy Name Cathedral as a development opportunity, the Archdiocese of Chicago has found a buyer for the 90,000-square-foot hunk of prime River North real estate. According to Crain’s, Chicago-based JDL Development was selected as the winning bidder and will pay more than $110 million for the nearly block-sized property located at the southwest corner of State Street and Chicago Avenue.

Large enough to support at least two high-rise towers, the sprawling lot has long been considered one of Chicago’s most desirable development sites. While JDL’s plans for the Holy Name lot have yet to be divulged, it is assumed that the developer will look to build a combination of for-sale condominiums and rental apartments as well as new retail space. Developer and fellow Holy Name bidder Steve Fifield told Crain’s that he had looked to “build 670 apartments in two 40- to 50-story towers” at the site.

JDL is currently in the process of finishing up a nearby luxury condo tower known as No. 9 Walton as well as a soon-to-open 22-story rental high-rise at the site of River North’s old Ed Debevic’s restaurant. The busy developer will undoubtedly need a city approval in the form of a zoning change to tap the full potential of the vast, transit-oriented Holy Name parcel. It’s likely the project will raise the same neighborhood concerns as the proposed 60-story ‘Carillon’ tower two blocks to the east.

Meanwhile, the Archdiocese will likely work out a deal to replace lost parishioner parking with spaces in the new development. Similar arrangements have been made with the new high-rises headed to parking lots that previously served Chicago’s Assumption Catholic Church and Old St. Pat’s.

Jay Koziarz