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Developer to unveil new, 38-story proposal for River North’s Clark & Barlow site

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The updated plan will debut next week

The vacant Clark & Barlow store at 353 W. Grand Avenue in River North.
Jay Koziarz

Three years after first presenting plans for Chicago’s former Clark & Barlow hardware store, Canadian developers are ready to take the wraps off a revised proposal for the prominent River North site.

The updated proposal from Vancouver-based Onni Group would replace the older three-story commercial building at the southwest corner of Grand Avenue and Orleans Street with a 38-story high-rise. It would contain 356 rental units, 284 parking spaces, ground floor retail, according to an email sent to residents by 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly on Friday.

Onni presented this 32-story proposal for 353 W. Grand Avenue in 2015.
Pappageorge Haymes Partners

This would be both taller and more densely populated than the 32-story, 330-unit proposal revealed by Onni in mid 2015. Designed by Pappageorge Haymes Partners, the earlier version wasn’t exactly well received by the residents of surrounding buildings such as the neighboring Sexton Lofts.

A community meeting to discuss the 38-story tower will be hosted by Alderman Brendan Reilly and River North Residents Association. It’s set for Monday, June 18 at 6:00 p.m. at the East Bank Club at 500 N. Kingsbury Street.

“The Applicant has incorporated community feedback to improve their plans and are now prepared to share their new design with the community for further input,” read the alderman’s email. “This project has not received Alderman Reilly’s support, and this is only the beginning of his rigorous, transparent community process.”

An increasingly rare remnant of River North’s blue collar, pre-condominium past, the Clark & Barlow building has sat vacant since its namesake hardware store closed in 2016.