A handful of major developments received the official thumbs up at Thursday’s meeting of the Chicago Plan Commission. The hearing was also the first to be attended by incoming Chicago Department of Planning and Development Commissioner Maurice Cox.
While items passed by the Plan Commission typically require additional approvals from Chicago’s Committee on Zoning and the full City Council to take effect, the votes still represent an important first step in the process. Here’s a quick rundown of what was approved.
1000 W. Carroll Avenue and 345 N. Morgan Street
Prolific Chicago developer Sterling Bay received the commissioners’ approval for a two-building proposal slated for Chicago’s hot Fulton Market District. The larger of the pair would rise 18 stories at 1000 W. Carroll Avenue, just north of Google’s headquarters at 1K Fulton. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the 288-foot-tall office tower resembles a stack of offset boxes wrapped in a contemporary glass and metal facade.
Across the street at 345 N. Morgan Street, the same developer plans an 11-story office building with ground-floor retail space. Located just north of Sterling Bay’s Ace Hotel, the commercial structure replaces the developer’s previous plans for a seven-story, metal-skinned building containing a parking garage and movie theater. The revised design for 345 N. Morgan comes from Eckenhoff Saunders Architects and features a more traditional West Loop warehouse look.
The two buildings contain a combined 208 parking spaces. Sterling Bay will pay $7.62 million into Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund plus an $888,000 Industrial Corridor Conversion Fee, according to the Department of Planning and Development. The Neighborhood Opportunity payment will support small business grants on the city’s South and West sides, while the conversion fee cash will be reinvested in designated industrial zones.
Commission OKs Fulton Market plan that includes an 18-story office tower at 1000 W. Carroll St. and an 11-story office tower at 345 N. Morgan St. pic.twitter.com/msmQYZsK5F— Chicago DPD (@ChicagoDPD) September 19, 2019
12 W. Maple Street
In Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, a plan to build a slender 22-story mixed-use tower at 12 W. Maple Street is moving forward. Developed by David Pisor and James Lasky and designed by Chicago-based architecture firm Booth Hansen, the 330-foot-tall project contains a restaurant, a private club, 30 parking spaces, and 18 high-end condo units.
The development includes no affordable housing but will contribute $365,500 to Chicago’s affordable housing fund as well as $1.22 million to the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund. The proposed high-rise would demolish an existing four-story commercial building at 12 W. Maple and as well as a historic Queen Anne greystone at 16 W. Maple—most recently home to the Merlo on Maple Italian restaurant.
Plan Commission approves a 22-story mixed-use development at 12 W. Maple St. with 18 residential units and first-floor retail space. The Gold Coast plan requires a #ChicagoNOF system payment of $1.22 million and an Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund payment of $365,500. pic.twitter.com/gV5cVyoQ2z— Chicago DPD (@ChicagoDPD) September 19, 2019
AIDS Garden Chicago
The commissioners voted in support of a long-discussed tribute garden commemorating Chicago’s victims of AIDS. Proposed just south of Belmont Harbor, the new green space is steps from the Belmont Rocks—a long-time gathering place for Chicago’s LGBTQ community that also served as a makeshift memorial for AIDS victims.
The nonprofit project will feature walking paths, a 30-foot-tall sculpture from artist Keith Haring, a meditation grove, and small event space. Funding comes from private donations as well as $1.5 million set aside in the state’s most recent $45 billion capital expenditure bill.
Plan Commission approves the AIDS Garden Chicago proposal from @ChicagoParks. Keith Haring's 30-foot "Self Portrait" sculpture will be the centerpiece of the garden, located in Lincoln Park just south of Belmont Harbor. Learn more at https://t.co/yr0PnRrl3d. pic.twitter.com/f92TSAMFoe— Chicago DPD (@ChicagoDPD) September 19, 2019
A number of minor zoning measures were also approved at September’s meeting. These include adding a one-story addition to a Hyde Park building, rezoning an industrial building at 1234 W. Fulton Market for office use, boosting the number of units in an existing Englewood transitional living facility into an affordable housing complex, and enclosing the porte cochere of downtown’s Renaissance Hotel to house a bank.