The Chicago Plan Commission holds its monthly meeting this afternoon (agenda). Instead of meeting at their normal location in the City Council Chambers, the Board will convene in room 201A at 1:00 p.m. These are some of the large scale projects on the agenda:

Proposed Viceroy Hotel, Gold Coast – 2nd Ward

1118 N. State St. | Ordinance: O2014-973 | Introduced: 12/10/2014

This plan is years in the making. The Viceroy Hotel Group wants to demolish the vacant Cedar Hotel in the Gold Coast so it can build an 18-story building with 180 hotel rooms, a restaurant on the ground floor, and an open green space on a 12,000 sq. ft. site. According to the design sketches produced by architecture firm Goettsch Partners, the new building will replicate the existing, red brick, decorative terra cotta facade, which is the “character defining feature” of the Cedar Hotel. The Los Angeles-based upscale boutique hotel chain has locations in Beverly Hills, Palm Springs, Miami, and New York. The applicant on file, Cedar Property, LLC, is seeking a zoning change from a DX-7 (Downtown Mixed Use District) to a Planned Development, because the proposed hotel exceeds the height threshold allowed under the current zoning designation. The applicant plans to make a $686,651 payment to the Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund, in addition to applying for an Adopt-a-Landmark Bonus. Edward Kus, with the law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister, LLP, is the attorney on file. Don Wilson with DRW-M Investor LLC and Convexity Properties are also part of the venture.

Deal for trendy Gold Coast hotel collapses, June 03, 2009, Crain’s Chicago.

Viceroy Hotel picks Gold Coast for its Chicago domain, December 19, 2014, Crain’s Chicago.

18 Story Viceroy Hotel to Open on State Street by 2017, March 5, 2015, Curbed Chicago.


Proposed 53-Story Office Tower, Loop – 42nd Ward

130 N. Franklin St.  | Ordinance: O2015-4174  | Introduced 5/20/2015
Real estate developer Tishman Speyer has been trying for years to turn the surface parking lot and surrounding vacant land along 130 N. Franklin St. into an office highrise. The former site of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (1928-1972), later occupied by Henry Crown & Company until 1986, was eventually turned into a surface parking lot with space for more than 200 cars. Through a joint venture with Henry Crown & Company, the applicants, under the name 130 N. Franklin St., LLC, seek to build a 53-story office building along Franklin St. between Randolph and Washington. Plans include ground floor commercial retail, a restaurant, a minimum of 140 on-site parking spaces and a large outdoor plaza. The development plan designed by architecture firm Krueck + Sexton will be 65,000 sq. ft., with approximately 20,700 sq. ft.dedicated to the landscaped open green space. When Henry & Crown Company occupied the site in 1989, they successfully rezoned it into a Planned Development (PD 496). When the PD expired, Ald. Brendan Reilly (42) rezoned the project site into a DC-16, Downtown Core District, a zoning classification intended to promote high density office and employment growth with mixed-use residential uses permitted. Developers are asking permission to rezone the area into a Business Planned Development.


Angular Glass Tower at 130 North Franklin Moving Forward Wednesday, April 8, 2015, Curbed Chicago

Get Your Funk On: Skyscraper Finally Coming to 130 North Franklin  January 22, 2015, Chicago Architecture Blog

Proposed Half Acre Brewery – 40th Ward

2050 W. Balmoral Ave. | Ordinance: O2015-4625 | Introduced: 6/17/2015
Half Acre Brewery wants to build a 35,000 sq. ft. brewery with an adjoining tasting room and full service kitchen on the first floor, and office space on the second floor of the existing property, which is a little over a mile north of the beer company’s Lincoln Ave. location. The applicant on file, Bastion of Balmoral, LLC, has requested a zoning change from an M1-2 Manufacturing District to a C3-3 Commercial District, because the planned tasting room exceeds the maximum size permitted under the current designation by 4,000 sq. ft. And while the renderings prepared by Space Architects + Planners do not call for the expansion of the current building, Half Acre will add an outdoor beer garden and on-site parking for 33 cars. Gabriel Magliaro, owner of Half Acre Brewery, is managing member of GMB Partners LLC, which manages Bastion of Balmoral. In a blog post from March 2014 on Half Acre’s website, the company said it bought the 2050 W. Balmoral site to serve as an extension to their Lincoln Avenue tap room, about 5 minutes away. “The additional space will allow us to expand our distribution footprint to the entire Chicagoland area, add more onsite enjoyment at both locations and explore our interests as brewers and beyond.”

Half Acre to open second Brewery, March 24, 2014, Chicago Tribune


Parkway East Project, Lakeview – 44th Ward

506-514 W. Diversey Parkway | Ordinance: O2015-4175 | Introduced: 5/20/2015
Boston-based Broder Diversey, LLC wants to build an 11-story residential tower near Diversey Harbor, with 56 dwelling units and commercial retail at the base. The site is zoned as a B3-5 Community Shopping District and is currently a surface parking lot with a neighboring 3-story residential commercial building. The developers, which includes the Gabriel Development Group and LA Commercial, LLC, want to rezone the area into a Residential Business Planned Development divided into two sub areas, according to the sketches from architectural firm, Pappageorge Haymes Partners. The larger plot, Sub Area A, is 14,250 sq. ft. and will include a minimum of 53 parking spaces and residential units. The neighboring Sub Area B takes up 4,750 sq. ft. and includes a minimum of 3 residential units without parking. When the concept was first brought to the community in 2014, another proposed development project across the street in the neighboring 43rd Ward was also in the works. Lexington Homes, LLC had proposed building a 17-story condo on 523 W. Diversey Ave, the site of the former Market Place Food Store, but Ald. Michelle Smith announced last month in an email the developer had withdrawn its plans after “it became clear the current proposal could not be realistically modified to address neighborhood concerns.”
High-Rise Development Could Still Become Reality, May 8, 2013, Lakeview Patch

‘Horrendous’ Congestion Feared As Lakeview, Lincoln Park Projects Collide, September 9, 2014, DNAInfo


Whole Foods, Lakeview – 44th Ward

3201 N. Ashland Ave. | Ordinance: O2015-3703 | Introduced: 5/6/2015
Novak Construction purchased the former LaSalle Bank site to build a new Whole Foods in the Lakeview neighborhood. The organic grocery chain already operates a store in Lakeview. The original Ashland Ave. store is almost two decades old. The new location is part of a large expansion plan the company unveiled last year to open 11 new stores across the US and Canada.  The applicant on file, Ashland Belmont, LLC, has a draft plan that includes construction of a 79,500 sq. ft. store and 305 parking spots. In order to break ground, the developers seek to amend the subject property, which is currently designated as Residential Planned Business Development #1052.
Lakeview Whole Foods To Double, Become City’s Second-Largest, February 12, 2015, DNAinfo

Lakeview Whole Foods Adds Park, New Facade In Wake of Neighbors’ Concerns, July 6, 2015 , DNAinfo

A Look at the New Behemoth Lakeview Whole Foods Proposal, Thursday, April 23, 2015, Curbed Chicago


Development Plans for the old Kitschy Ed Debevic’s Diner – 42nd Ward

200-212 W. Ontario St.; 628-648 N. Wells St.; 201-209 W. Erie St. | Ordinance: O2015-4176  | Introduced: 5/20/2015
Applicants Robert Stone and Jeffrey Himmel are part of a joint venture to build a residential complex at the site of the old Ed Debevic’s 50’s themed restaurant in River North. Filing their application under the name of Wells & Erie, LLC, the developers seek to rezone the site from a DX-7, Downtown District, to a Residential Business Planned Development to construct two buildings; a 22-story residential tower with 253 units and neighboring two-story commercial building to the west. The plans prepared by Hartshorne Plunkard Architects include 117 accessory off-street parking, and accessory and incidental uses–(it was reported that the small building will likely hold a daycare center for dogs). In order to increase the floor area permitted on site, developers plan to make a $1.5M cash contribution to the city’s Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund in lieu of providing on-site affordable housing, as well as a $1.2M cash contribution for public infrastructure improvements.  Ald. Brendan Reilly (42) held a community meeting in May, so that representatives of the JDL development team could present their plans to the River North Residents Association (slideshow).

River North’s Kitschy Ed Debevic’s to Make Way for New Tower Friday, April 24, 2015, Curbed Chicago

Ed Debevic’s sass to go: Cheeky diner is looking for a new home April 24, 2015, Crain’s Chicago

A Look at the Apartment Tower That Will Replace Ed Debevic’s Wednesday, May 13, 2015, by Curbed Staff

Acquisitions & Dispositions Ald. Howard Brookins, Jr. (21) introduced an ordinance proposing the sale of city-owned property on 650 W. 83rd St. to Green ERA Educational NFP, so it can build a renewable energy anaerobic digester facility. The company will use the space and equipment to recycle food and park waste into composted soil and biogas. Ald. Brookins has requested the Plan Commission rezone the area from a M1-2, Manufacturing District, to an M3-2, Manufacturing District, and eventually into a planned development. The site will be roughly 440,000 sq. ft. [Ordinance: O2015-5391]

Tax Increment Financing – Proposals to amend two TIF Districts are slated for approval. One item is a resolution amending the Cicero/Archer Redevelopment Project. The other resolution is an expansion plan to add an additional 4,676 taxable properties to the 119th/I-57 TIF. The expansion plan is based on a study from an independent consulting firm, SB Friedman Development Advisors, the city hired to see if adjacent areas around the original project area would qualify as “blighted”. The expansion plan includes the Morgan Park and West Pullman neighborhoods.

Adjacent Neighbors – Two city-owned properties are for sale under the Adjacent Neighbors Land Acquisition Program. One property is on 6506 S. Dorchester Ave in Woodlawn. The three-unit, three floor building in the 20th Ward was built in 1888 and needs “minor repair”, according to the Cook County Assessor’s records. [Pin: 20-23-213-047-0000]. The other property, 8906 S. Lowe Ave, in the 21st Ward is a vacant lot in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood. [Pin: 25-04-118-024-0000].

Negotiated Sales – There is a resolution recommending the negotiated sale of City-owned land on 3427 W. Madison St. in the 28th Ward’s East Garfield Park neighborhood. [Pin: 16-14-201-006-0000]