Dirt Moving for New Near North Hotel

One of our more alert readers noticed that earth movers have started moving earth at the northwest corner of Clark and Huron Streets.  Clark and Huron is a former surface parking lot that has tried to better itself a number of times in the last decade, with the wheel of fortune finally landing on a 215-room hotel late last year.

100 West Huron under construction (Courtesy of Near North Spy Jody)

100 West Huron under construction (Courtesy of Near North Spy Jody)

Near North Spy Jody checked in to our tip line with pictures of 100 West Huron, or at least the ruckus and rubble that is preceding the NORR-designed hotel.

The building has gone through a number of changes in the last 18 months or so.  We last checked in on it this past October, but it received another revision in December, so here are the revised stats:

  • Address: 100 West Huron Street
  • Address: 700 North Clark Street
  • Developer: AP 100 W. Huron Property LLC
  • For realsies: Akara Partners
  • Floor Area Ratio: 10.25 (7.0 base + 1.75 Affordable Housing + 1.0 Upper Level Setback + 0.50 Neighborhood Opportunity Bonus)
  • Maximum hotel rooms: 215 (up 15 from October)
  • Loading dock: one
  • Parking spaces: zero
  • Maximum height: 180 feet, one inch
  • Architecture firm: NORR
  • Green roof alert: 4,135 square feet
The evolution of 100 West Huron

The evolution of 100 West Huron

100 West Huron under construction (Courtesy of Near North Spy Jody)
100 West Huron under construction (Courtesy of Near North Spy Jody)

Diagram of 100 West Huron
Diagram of 100 West Huron
Diagram of 100 West Huron
Diagram of 100 West Huron
Diagram of 100 West Huron
Diagram of 100 West Huron

from Chicago Architecture https://www.chicagoarchitecture.org/2017/09/18/dirt-moving-for-new-near-north-hotel/


Chicago Gets a New Downtown Spire

The Chicago Spire is like the big mole on Aunt Margie’s chin with the hair growing out of it: Everyone knows all about it, but nobody will talk about it for fear of embarrassment.

While the plan to put up a 150-story, 2,000-foot-tall spire on Chicago’s lakefront failed and is only spoken of in hushed tones, a more modest spire has managed to silently climb into the River North Skyline.

LDS chapel under construction (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!)

LDS chapel under construction (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!)

It’s the spire at the new chapel for the Church of Latter Day Saints in at 822 North Clark Street in downtown Chicago, seen in the photograph above from Joe Zekas at YoChicago!. The building, designed by David Dixon of Dixon+Associates in Salt Lake City, and will have three levels of office and meeting space above four levels of parking.  It will accommodate several local LDS congregations on Sundays, plus provide meeting and activity space during the week.

On the outside, the building could pass for a library or another stately institution.  But the spire on the south end is the giveaway, especially if you’re familiar with the look of the majority of LDS buildings erected in the last couple of decades.  The rest of the structure has been “Chicagofied” compared with the usual LDS outposts, according to one observer who notes that its verticality and brick facade fit in well with the neighborhood’s existing aesthetic.


from Chicago Architecture https://www.chicagoarchitecture.org/2017/09/18/chicago-finally-gets-a-new-downtown-spire/

Fifty Floors and Still Rising at One Bennett Park

One of our favorite construction projects of 2017 has reached a milestone.  Construction at One Bennett Park, the condos-over-apartments stack at 451 East Grand Avenue has reached the 50th floor.

Rendering of One Bennett Park (Courtesy of Related Midwest)

Rendering of One Bennett Park (Courtesy of Related Midwest)

That means with this latest concrete pour, the Related Midwest skyscraper is at 71% of its eventual 70-floor stature.  If you’d like to measure its progress in height, then it’s up to 540 feet; or 65% of its eventual 836-foot height.

Press release follows the photos.

One Bennett Park under construction (Courtesy of Related Midwest)
One Bennett Park under construction (Courtesy of Related Midwest)

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE: One Bennett Park Reaches 50th Floor

Completion of Chicago’s tallest all-residential tower on schedule for early 2019

CHICAGO – Related Midwest today announced that crews are pouring the 50th floor of One Bennett Park, the developer’s ultra-luxury residential tower at 451 E. Grand Ave. in Streeterville, as the tower climbs toward its full height of 70 stories. The 49th-floor deck and 50th-floor core walls are being poured this week, bringing the structure to more than 540 feet.

“We’re excited to be working on One Bennett Park’s spectacular condominiums, crafted by Robert A.M. Stern Architects as vertical homes with gracious living spaces, unparalleled luxury finishes and sweeping lake and city views,” said Curt Bailey, president of Related Midwest. “As One Bennett Park’s residences rise, other distinctive features – everything from the grand motor court to the limestone-clad base – are gradually taking shape, each bringing us one step closer to realizing our vision for a tower unmatched in design and craftsmanship.”

Also under construction is Bennett Park, an adjacent 1.7-acre green space designed by Michael Van Valkenburg Associates, whose other Chicago projects include Maggie Daley Park, The 606 and the Barack Obama Presidential Center. Crews have outlined the treescapes and foot paths that will meander through Bennett Park, which in addition to serving residents via their own private entrance, will also be open to the public. When complete in 2019, the park will feature native plantings and rolling topography that divides the area into four distinct experiences: a lawn bowl; play bowl, complete with a children’s playground; shade grove; and dog run with separate areas for small and large breeds.

“It’s now possible to stand out on the terrace overlooking the park and get a glimpse of the urban oasis residents will see every day simply by walking outside,” said Don Biernacki, senior vice president of construction at Related Midwest. “The views from the residential floors are equally breathtaking, providing a new vantage point from which Lake Michigan and the surrounding cityscape can be experienced. I’m incredibly proud of the team we’ve assembled and the progress we’ve made together as One Bennett Park claims its spot in the downtown skyline.”

Chicago-based Lendlease is serving as the project’s general contractor, while Chicago-based GREC is the architect of record.

Slated to be Chicago’s tallest all-residential tower, One Bennett Park broke ground in February 2016, with completion scheduled for early 2019. The community’s 279 apartments and first condominium residences will deliver in fall 2018.

Located on floors 41 through 66, the 69 condominium residences at One Bennett Park include two-, three- and four-bedroom plans averaging 3,200 square feet. In addition to the full suite of apartment amenities, owners will have access to an exclusive floor of amenities on level 41, as well as their own porte cochère and lobby on the lower level.

Related Midwest is currently offering a selection of condominiums ranging in size from 1,737 to 7,500 square feet and priced between $1.9 million and $15 million. For more information on One Bennett Park, visit http://www.onebennettpark.com.


from Chicago Architecture https://www.chicagoarchitecture.org/2017/09/14/fifty-floors-and-still-rising-at-one-bennett-park/

Downtown Chicago Apple Flagship To Open October 20

The opening of the new Steve Jobs theater at Apple Park in Cupertino, California wasn’t the only architecture news of note today.

During Apple’s annual iPhone presentation, a portion of the show was given over to the technology company’s Senior Vice President of Retail, Angela Ahrendts. She let the world know that the new Apple Store at Pioneer Court on Michigan Avenue will open October 20th.

Apple Senior Vice President of Retail, Angela Ahrendts at the Steve Jobs Theater (via AppleTV)

Apple Senior Vice President of Retail, Angela Ahrendts in front of a rendering of Chicago’s Apple Store Pioneer Court at the Steve Jobs Theater (via AppleTV)

“Our team has designed a spectacular pavilion that seamlessly connects the plaza to the promenade as part of the city’s plan to transform the Chicago riverfront,” Ahrendts said.

She referred to the shop as “Apple Michigan Avenue.” She also said that Apple no longer calls their outlets “Apple Stores,” but instead “Apple Town Squares.” Which is going to be awkward for those Apple Stores located in malls that call themselves Town Square. There is going to be at least one Apple Town Square Town Square.

Apple Senior Vice President of Retail, Angela Ahrendts in front of a rendering of Chicago's Apple Store Pioneer Court at the Steve Jobs Theater (via AppleTV)

Apple Senior Vice President of Retail, Angela Ahrendts in front of a rendering of Chicago’s Apple Store Pioneer Court at the Steve Jobs Theater (via AppleTV)

from Chicago Architecture https://www.chicagoarchitecture.org/2017/09/12/downtown-chicago-apple-flagship-to-open-october-20/

8 East Huron Ready to Sign on the Dotted Line

If you’re looking for luxury digs near Holy Name Cathedral, but don’t feel like spending $70 million to combine the top four floors of an unnamed hyper-lux skyscraper under construction nearby, CA Ventures has the building for you.

Rendering of 8 East Huron (Courtesy of CA Ventures and the Habitat Company)

Rendering of 8 East Huron (Courtesy of CA Ventures and the Habitat Company)

You can now pre-live at 8 East Huron, the 26-story Valerio Dewalt Train Associates-designed building that recent went into pre-leasing mode on the corner of State and Huron in the city’s Near North neighborhood.

We’ve been following 8 East Huron for a couple of years, since it was just rumors about maximizing the value of two 1889 graystones.  Those buildings are just a memory now, and what’s replaced them appears to be a solid entry into the re-population of downtown Chicago.

The 102-unit building sports such high-end punchlist items as quartz countertops (granite went out with stainless steel appliances), custom cabinets, and the potential for plumbing fixtures from our friends across the border in Kohler, Wisconsin.

In a city where the apartment amenity arms race has brought us to the point that a building in River North has its own bard, 8 East isn’t being left behind.  Its nuclear amenity is a private, curated art collection.  Which is a great idea if you’re an art lover. And an even better idea if you’re offended by the idea of having to pay $30 a head to visit the Art Institute.  (You can always pop down to Saint Louis where its near-equal art museum is free!)

Press release follows the photos.

Rendering of the Pool at 8 East Huron (Courtesy of CA Ventures and the Habitat Company)
Rendering of the Club Room at 8 East Huron (Courtesy of CA Ventures and the Habitat Company)
Rendering of a living room and kitchen at 8 East Huron (Courtesy of CA Ventures and the Habitat Company)

Pre-Leasing Begins at Boutique Rental Tower 8 East Huron in Chicago’s River North

First move-ins at 26-story,102-unit luxury apartment building slated for October 2017

CHICAGO — CA Residential LLC, the multifamily investment and development division of Chicago-based CA Ventures, has announced the start of pre-leasing at 8 East Huron, a 102-unit boutique luxury rental building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood that is scheduled to open this fall. Luxury Living Chicago Realty is the exclusive marketing and leasing brokerage for the 26-story tower, while The Habitat Company will manage the property.


“8 East Huron is the ideal residential option for today’s sophisticated urban renter who has graduated from living in a massive high-rise but still wants five-star amenities with access to everything the River North and Gold Coast neighborhoods have to offer,” said Bob Flannery, chief operating officer of CA Ventures. “Nearly all apartments are corner units, with only four units on some floors. A central location in one of the most desirable downtown neighborhoods puts residents within walking distance of the city’s greatest amenities, including the shops and restaurants of the Gold Coast and Magnificent Mile. Yet, for all the action outside its front door, 8 East Huron provides a level of intimacy and privacy rarely available in a full-amenity rental building.”

Wrapped entirely in glass, the building boasts spectacular city views and its own private art collection curated by the Chicago Art Source and displayed throughout common areas. The community’s junior one-, one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as ultra-luxury three-bedroom, 3½-bath suites located on the 22nd and 23rd floors, range in size from 540 to 2,680 square feet, with rents between $2,195 and $15,995. All units are outfitted with high-end finishes, including wood plank flooring throughout living areas, Miele appliances, quartz countertops, custom Snaidero cabinetry, and Grohe and Kohler plumbing fixtures. In addition, apartments include in-unit washer and dryer, with private balconies in select plans.


8 East Huron also features 8,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenity space, located on the 24th floor. Amenities include an outdoor infinity-edge stainless steel pool adjacent to a sun deck and outdoor grilling stations. Additionally, residents will have access to a demonstration kitchen with professional-grade appliances; resident lounge; media room; fitness center with yoga room; and on-site pet spa with dog run. The amenity offerings will be complemented by an extensive service staff that includes a 24-hour concierge attendant.

“8 East Huron is an exciting example of what Chicago renters can expect when three world-class industry experts — CA Ventures, Habitat and Luxury Living Chicago – work together to redefine upscale rental living in the city,” said Sheila Byrne, executive vice president of property management of The Habitat Company. “Beyond its prime location, this building will exceed the expectations of discerning residents who demand thoughtfully designed floor plans, service-based conveniences and top-notch amenities – all with a twist of innovation and creativity.”


Because the building is still under construction, the Luxury Living Chicago leasing team is offering a virtual realty experience that allows interested renters to see select apartments and amenities from every angle, just as if they were standing in the real building.


“8 East Huron is such an impressive building that we couldn’t just tell renters what they could expect from it; we wanted them to experience it for themselves,” said Aaron Galvin, founder and CEO of Luxury Living Chicago Realty. “Unique amenities like the modern rooftop with its infinity-edge stainless steel pool come to life through the VR tour, allowing prospective residents to envision themselves relaxing by the pool or grilling with friends. Response from the market has been tremendous, with the building already 20 percent pre-leased.”


Residents of 8 East Huron will be steps away from a host of conveniences and entertainment options, including Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Eataly, the AMC 600 North Michigan 9 movie theater and numerous restaurants.

Leasing for 8 East Huron is currently being conducted by appointment only. For more information on the community, or to schedule a virtual reality tour, visit http://www.8easthuron.com.


from Chicago Architecture https://www.chicagoarchitecture.org/2017/09/07/8-east-huron-ready-to-sign-on-the-dotted-line/

Chicago Kids Asked to Design Neighborhood Micro-Libraries

Registration recently opened for a design competition for Chicago high school students interested in architecture.  Students are asked to come up with a design for a public library that also functions as a public gathering space.

Chicago skyline

Imagine dozens of small libraries scattered throughout the city.

The challenge is that the library has to be small in size, but big on amenities.  Small means cheap, and the goal is to come up with a scheme that can be deployed in small spaces around the city.  The fictional setting for this libraryette is a 75×125′ lot in what’s left of Little Italy.

We love the idea of dozens and dozens of micro-libraries scattered around the city, serving traditional bibliographic needs as well as the need for “third spaces” in a city increasingly hostile to public loitering without spending $6 on a cup of coffee. (Remember when Chicago had public benches on the sidewalks?)   We look forward to seeing the designs, and hope some of them are good enough to be implemented.  Or at least to inspire City Hall bureaucrats.

The contest is sponsored by British Petroleum and run by the Chicago Architecture Foundation as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.  Prizes?  Oh, yes, there are prizes.  But nobody is saying exactly what they are just yet. All we’ve been able to find out is “free design software and varying cash prizes.” If that’s enough to get your kid’s creative juices flowing, then  clicketh thy mouse hereth for more information.



from Chicago Architecture https://www.chicagoarchitecture.org/2017/09/07/chicago-kids-asked-to-design-neighborhood-micro-libraries/

Landmarks to Consider Johnson Publishing Building Residential Conversion

At its regular monthly meeting tomorrow, a committee of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks will consider a request to allow the conversion of the former Johnson Publishing Building (820 South Michigan Avenue) from offices to residential use.

Johnson Publishing Building

820 South Michigan Avenue, formerly the Johnson Publishing Building (File photo)

The 11-story brutalist building designed by John W. Moutoussamy was the headquarters of the Johnson empire for decades — a media conglomerate best known for decades for its Ebony and Jet magazines.

Johnson sold the building to Columbia College in 2010.  At the time, the plan was to turn it into a library, but the institution changed its mind several years later.

Now 3LRE, a real estate developer in northwest suburban Rosemont, wants to add another floor to the building, plus a roof deck, while converting the office space below into 150 residences.  There will also be ground-floor retail space, a must for Michigan Avenue frontage across the street from Grant park.

To lighten up the building’s interiors, a new light well will be built on the back (western) side of the structure.  The new homes will also feature windows that open, allowing fresh Lake Michigan air inside.

It appears that the iconic Ebony/Jet sign may be allowed to remain on top of the building.  In its recommendation to approve the conversion, the Permit Review Committee wrote, “The 1-story rooftop addition proposed behind the existing rooftop sign wall is approved as proposed.”  Hopefully Michigan Avenue will get to keep this heritage.  In recent years the boulevard has been de-signed, losing the huge neon Torco sign, the Santa Fe sign, the Borg Warner sign, and probably others we’ve forgotten about.

Johnson Publishing Building

from Chicago Architecture https://www.chicagoarchitecture.org/2017/09/06/landmarks-to-consider-johnson-publishing-building-residential-conversion/