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River North office project next to Chicago Avenue CTA stop moving forward

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The building will take advantage of the city’s Transit-Oriented Development Ordinance

A rectangular glass and metal office building next to elevated train tracks. There are other tall buildings in the surrounding area.
An updated rendering of 777 N. Franklin Street.
Chicago Department of Planning and Development

A new nine-story office block is closer to replacing a vacant single-story building next to the Chicago Avenue CTA stop in River North. On Friday, the Chicago Plan Commission approved the proposal, which is slated for the former Wal-Mart Express location at 777 N. Franklin Street.

Developed by Centrum Realty and designed by Chicago-based architecture firm Hirsch MPG LLC, the project features a contemporary glass and metal facade and roughly 4,400 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Centrum and Hirsch teamed up on a number of previous developments, including a nine-story office building at nearby 412 N. Wells Street.

Although the proposed building is not seeking a change to the site’s underlying zoning, it is submitting a Planned Development application. With the Chicago Plan Commission blessing, it still needs to pass the Committee on Zoning and City Council. The transit-oriented plan will provide parking for just seven cars.

The River North project is the latest development headed to an increasingly hot stretch of Chicago Avenue. It joins the massive One Chicago skyscraper project at the corner of Dearborn, a 318-unit micro-apartment building planned for Chicago and Wells, and an upcoming coliving development proposed near Chicago and LaSalle.

This post was originally published on October 21, 2019. It has been updated with new renderings and information.