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West Loop high-rise Hyatt among projects headed to the Chicago Plan Commission

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The popular West Loop neighborhood features three developments on the September agenda

Eckenhoff Saunders Architects

The City of Chicago has released its draft agenda for this month’s meeting of the Plan Commission and—unsurprisingly—the Windy City’s red-hot West Loop neighborhood continues to grab the headlines with no less than three new projects up for approval. While zoning changes and Planned Development (PD) applications still require the OK of the Zoning Board and full City Council to take effect, a nod from the Plan Commission is a vital step and a clear sign that a real estate development is moving forward. Here’s a quick look at the larger projects up for review this month.

Note: While the public meeting of the Chicago Plan Commission typically occurs on the third Thursday of every month, September’s date has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 20th in the City Council chambers of Chicago City Hall at 121 N. LaSalle.

Eckenhoff Saunders Architects

↑West Loop Hyatt Hotel

Expected to house attendees of McDonald’s “Hamburger University” training program, the proposed Hyatt hotel project at 113 N. May Street is headed to the Plan Commission with a shorter, newly-revised design. Though developer Sterling Bay and designer Eckenhoff Saunders Architects presented the project in July as a 199-foot, 19-story building containing 220 guest rooms, the West Loop proposal has since shrunk down to 171 feet, 16 stories, and 200 guest rooms. Seeking a modest zoning bump from DX-3 to DX-5, the hotel tower’s planned development also incorporates an existing two-story building that Sterling Bay is gifting to Chicago Public Libraries for a new West Loop branch.

bKL Architecture

↑Union West

Though initially expected to go before the Chicago Plan Commission in June of this year, the mixed-use West Loop project known as Union West is once again back on the agenda. Slated for the block bordered by Washington, Morgan, Madison, and Sangamon, the latest plan from developers ZOM Living and Verde Communities and bKL Architecture calls for a pair of 15-story towers topping out at 184 feet (down from a previous figure of 196 feet). If approved, the development would deliver new ground floor retail space, 250 parking stalls, and a combined 358 rental apartments.

An earlier, five-story proposal for 1001 W. Fulton Market.
Ilekis Associates

↑1001 West Fulton Market

A third West Loop proposal on the agenda calls for a new six-story commercial building to rise at the vacant lot at the southwest corner of Fulton Market and Morgan. Developer Vequity, LLC and architect Ilekis Associates presented a shorter, five-story version of the combination retail/office project in February. At the time, some West Loop neighbors criticized the development for appearing too “prison-like.”

bKL Architecture

↑SCIO at Medical District

In addition to overhauling the existing 1970’s era Medical District Apartments at the corner of Ashland and Taylor, a joint venture comprising of Guggenheim Partners, Atlantic Realty Partners, and Focus Development is seeking approval for a glassy 19-story mixed-use tower. Designed by bKL Architecture, the new building replaces a two-story parking deck with 254 new rental units, parking for 245 vehicles, and 28,000 square feet of commercial retail space that could potentially attract a much-needed grocery store as a future tenant.

Forum Studio

↑Wilson and Sheridan

This Uptown transit-oriented development (TOD) proposal from developer Clayco and architect Forum Studio was first introduced as an eight-story, 147 apartment project before evolving into a more slender 12-story design earlier this year. Known by its address of 943-57 W. Wilson Avenue and 4545-57 N. Sheridan Road, the 134-foot-tall proposal would contain ground floor retail, 150 dwelling units, and just 29 parking spaces. This item appeared on last month’s Plan Commission agenda but was not heard.

Other notable projects on this month’s agenda include a renovated welcome center for Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, a new three-story middle school in the Read-Dunning neighborhood, and an amendment allowing an existing Ravenswood medical office building at 4501 N. Winchester Avenue to be converted into 120 supportive living units and 74 elderly housing units.