Controversial Streeterville Hotel Bypassing City Hall, Moving Forward

There are lots of construction projects proposed around Chicago, and lots of them are opposed by neighborhood groups for one reason or another.  But never before have we seen a building so hated that it actually spawned its own anti-building web site.

Fortunately for the neighbors of 237 East Ontario Street, they no longer have to worry about fighting Tishman Realty’s plan for a new limited-service hotel.  That’s because they’ve lost.

237 East Ontario (Courtesy of Valerio Dewalt Train)

24-story version of 237 East Ontario (Courtesy of Valerio Dewalt Train)

According to Chicago’s most professional neighborhood group, SOAR, the New York real estate developer has decided to once again scale back its plan for the project, and in doing so has made it small enough to fly under the City Hall radar.  The original design by Valerio Dewalt Train was 24 stories.  It got knocked back to 22 this past March.  The new design is even smaller.

The new plan calls for a building that fits snugly within the block’s current DX-12 zoning.  And now that Tishman isn’t asking the city for any height beyond that DX-12 limit, it doesn’t need a zoning change, which in large part ties the hands of the local alderman, NIMBY groups, or anyone else who might want to stymie the project.

Anti-hotel groups did win on one front, though — the new hotel won’t try to use a public alley for loading and unloading guests.  Instead, SOAR says that there will be a pick-up/drop-off area on the east side of the property.

The next step is to tear down the former Museum of Contemporary Art building which currently slumbers in this location.  It has about three months left before it will be disturbed.

from Chicago Architecture


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