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Fulton Market office tower among projects approved by Chicago Plan Commission

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New developments for River North, Portage Park, Edgewater, and Lawndale

A rendering of 800 W. Fulton Market.
Image courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

At Thursday’s monthly meeting of the Chicago Plan Commission, zoning changes for a number of notable development projects were approved. Although such projects typically require additional approvals from Chicago’s Committee on Zoning and the full City Council to move forward, a thumbs up from the Plan Commission represents a key hurdle in the process. Here’s a quick rundown of what was approved.

Slated for 800 W. Fulton Market, this 19-story project from New York-based developer Thor Equities will occupy a block-sized site just north of the neon Fulton Market neighborhood gateway sign. Designed by Chicago-based architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the building features a stepped glass and brick exterior with metal cross-braces at its north and south elevations.

The 300-foot-tall project includes 25,000 square feet of retail space, widened sidewalks, and just 32 below-ground parking spaces. At a public meeting in March, the development team said it hopes to break ground on 800 W. Fulton Market later this summer and anticipates a 16-months construction timeline.

In River North, a 12-story, 188-foot-tall office building was OK’d for the surface parking lot at the southwest corner of Illinois and LaSalle. Designed by Chicago’s Lamar Johnson Collaborative, the plan calls for 7,500 square feet of ground-floor retail topped by 11 floors of office space and a rooftop deck. The project contains no parking and will wrap around the landmarked building at 444 N. LaSalle.

In Portage Park, a ten-story senior housing development will rise at the site of the long-delayed The Point at Six Corners project at the southeast corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Irving Park Road. The plan includes ground-floor commercial space topped by 101 independent senior living units and 146 assisted living and memory care units. It comes from the Ryan Companies and Chicago-based OKW Architects.

Meanwhile, developer MCZ’s previously approved 2016 plan to redevelop the former Edgewater Medical Center building at 5700 N. Ashland Avenue got permission from the Commission to makes some changes. Tweaks include bumping the overall number of residences from 141 to 155 units and scaling back parking from 78 to 74 spaces. While work on the North Side is already underway, it’s faced some unexpected demolition delays.

The commissioners approved zoning a five-story affordable housing development for veterans slated for at 2906 W. Roosevelt Road. Located across from Douglas Park in Lawndale, the project calls for 90 units, including 75 reserved for residents with Chicago Housing Authority vouchers. The Chicago Community Development Commission approved the sale of seven city-owned lots for $1 each to support the development in October.

In South Lawndale, a zoning amendment submitted by Peoples Gas was approved for a site near the company’s existing Crawford Station complex on Chicago’s West Side. It calls for the construction of a new 100,000-square-foot warehouse facility and a parking lot for 130 vehicles.

The Chicago Department of Transportation was granted approval to build a new 43rd Street bike and pedestrian bridge over Lake Shore Drive to connect the Oakwood and North Kenwood community to the lakefront. Designed by Cordogan, Clark & Associates, the serpentine pathway closely resembles the firm’s nearby 41st Street bridge which opened in December.

After putting its historic Medinah Temple building at 600 N. Wabash Avenue up for sale, Bloomingdale’s was granted a zoning change to bring new uses to the 1912 downtown landmark. Although the change would permit a variety of tenants including offices and restaurants, the amendment is likely to clear a path for “fitness center or lifestyle club,” reported Crain’s last month.

Two significant items listed on Thursday’s agenda were deferred to a later date. Both submitted by developer Related Midwest and located in the 25th Ward, they include a zoning change supporting a new 26-story, 351-unit rental tower at 1061 W. Van Buren Street and an amendment to “The 78” megadevelopment master plan to construct a new CTA Red Line subway station at 15th Street.

With former 25th Ward Alderman Danny Solis out of a job, the delay was likely made as a courtesy to newly elected representative Byron Sigcho-Lopez who has yet to take office. Typically development proposals don’t make it to the Chicago Plan Commission without the blessing of the local elected official.