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West Loop’s towering Equinox Hotel among projects facing key zoning vote

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If approved, the developments will add 1,500 residential units to the city

Related Midwest

After approving a number of new developments such as the adaptive reuse of the West Loop’s former Salvation Army complex in June, the Chicago Plan Commission has another full plate for its upcoming July session.

The group’s newly posted draft agenda includes proposals on the city’s North, South, and West sides that offer new office space, retail, hotel rooms, and a staggering 1,500 residential units.

Although developments approved by the commissioners must then head to the Zoning Committee and City Council for final approval, the Plan Commission represents a key first step in the zoning process.

The public meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, July 19 in the second-floor Council Chambers of City Hall at 121 N. LaSalle Street. Here are five notable projects from this month’s agenda:

725 W. Randolph Street.
Related Midwest

725 W. Randolph Street

Envisioned as a grand gateway to Chicago’s hot West Loop neighborhood, the 58-story Equinox Hotel is the easily the most high-profile project up for Plan Commission review this month.

The 680-foot tower from developer Related Midwest and Connecticut-based design architect Roger Ferris + Partners will bring a 30,000 square-foot Equinox fitness club and restaurant space topped by 370 rental apartments and a 165-room Equinox-branded hotel to Randolph Street’s Restaurant Row.

While Related’s nearby condo proposal at 170 N. Peoria Street cut its height from 51 to 36 stories under due to pressure from neighborhood groups, 725 W. Randolph Street is surprisingly moving forward without any major changes. If approved, the mixed-use tower is poised to become Chicago’s tallest building west of the Kennedy Expressway.

The developer said it hopes to break ground on the high-rise in early 2019. In the meantime, the vacant site will host a temporary retail market made of repurposed shipping containers.

310 N. Sangamon Street.
Mark Goodman & Associates, Inc

310 N. Sangamon Street

Slated to rise just east of Google’s offices at 1K Fulton and the Ace Hotel, this office complex aims to replace the AmeriGas propane fueling facility. Designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz and developed by Mark Goodman & Associates, the 13-story structure would offer 225,000 square feet of office space, 7,800 feet of ground-floor retail, and parking for 47 vehicles.

310 N. Sangamon hopes to stand out from Fulton Market’s increasingly crowded office scene by focusing on sustainability. If realized, the design would become the largest building in the United States built to the rigorous Passive House efficiency standard.

1750 N. Western Avenue.
Image courtesy of NORR Architects

1750 N. Western Avenue

This seven-story proposal at the border of Logan Square and Bucktown will replace a gas station and small strip mall next to the popular 606 Trail.

Unveiled in March with 127 apartments and garage parking for 36 cars, a slightly updated version of the transit-oriented project featuring 123 apartments with 42 parking spots was recently presented at community meeting.

The plan also includes first and second floor retail space with a elevated terrace connecting directly to the 606. 1750 N. Western Avenue comes from GW Property Group and NORR Architects.

The redeveloped Harold Ickes Homes.
Ickes Master Developer JV, LLC

Harold L. Ickes Homes Redevelopment

Once home to 1950s-era Harold L. Ickes public housing buildings, this mostly vacant site between the South Loop and Bronzeville is preparing for a massive multi-phase, mixed-use, mixed-income redevelopment.

The latest plan for the 11-acre parcel bordered State Street, Federal Avenue, Cermak Road, and 25th Street calls for 972 dwelling units spread across a mix of townhomes, six-flats, and a mid-rise building. Phase one will include a six-story, 228-unit mixed-use building at the intersection of 23rd Place and State Street, according to the project’s zoning application.

Although the official website for the Ickes redevelopment has had a “coming soon” sign for months, McCaffery Interests—who is codeveloping the giant project with the Chicago Housing Authority and Boston-based The Community Builders—is calling the plan “Southbridge,” according to its site.

Cicero Senior Lofts.
Chicago Housing Authority

4801 S. Cicero Avenue

This four-story project, Cicero Senior Lofts, will replace a vacant lot at the edge of Chicago’s Garfield Ridge an Archer Heights communities on the city’s Southwest Side. The joint plan comes from the CHA and private developer Miller-Valentine Group. It calls for 62 units for residents aged 55 years and older plus 40 on-site parking spaces.