Thursday, September 16, 2021

Checking-in at The Reed Development

YIMBY checks-in at The Reed development:

Since Chicago YIMBY’s last update on Lendlease’s “The Reed,” a planned 41-story residential tower at 234 W Polk Street in South Loop, various new developments have taken place. Fencing and additional equipment, including a crane, are now on site, while staging areas and an access road have been built out.

While foundation permits have been issued, full construction permits have been filed but not issued. Lendlease is also serving as general contractor, with an opening anticipated for 2023.

There are a lot of pictures in the post, but these two gave us the best sense of the vision for the area:

Drone Footage of Union Station Powerhouse on Taylor

Who doesn't love some South Loop drone footage:

For those of you interested we posted about Union Station Powerhouse being one of Chicago's most endangered buildings last year.  

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

City Council Approves Two Big Development Projects on South Wabash

More development is approved and looks to be coming to the Sloop (via Block Club):

Three more high-rises are coming to Wabash Avenue.

The City Council signed off a $350 million project to build two towers connected by a two-story retail space at 525 S. Wabash Ave. One would have 777 apartments while another would be a 407-room hotel.

Alderpeople also gave the green light Tuesday for a $100 million project to build a 31-story tower with 299 residential units at a vacant lot at 1400 S. Wabash Ave.

The plan for 523 S. Wabash, just off Ida B. Wells Drive, will transform a parking structure into the hotel and apartments towers.

A grocer would move into the ground-level storefront and a restaurant would take the space above it. Designs also call for the expansion of an alleyway east of the structure to accommodate loading.

As a reminder, here is a rendering for the project at 525 S. Wabash:

 And here is the rendering for the building at 1400 S. Wabash:

The building at 525 S. Wabash is scheduled to be completed by 2024 and the 1400 S. Wabash is supposed to be completed by 2023.  Generally we're in favor of more density, but still questioning the demand post-Covid.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Big Fire Engulfs Roof at 16th and State this Past Saturday

A scary scene from Saturday (via ABC7):

A reader sent this email and awesome picture:

An eleven-story apartment building rooftop fire located at 16th and State was quickly extinguished by the Chicago Fire Department.  No injuries were reported; however property damage related to the fire and water to douse the flames reported.  The suspected cause, a grill on the roof top is under investigation.

(Hat tip: RD!)

Friday, September 10, 2021

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Donate to Restore Printers Row Park Fountain

Looks like the fountain at Printers Row Park needs some love:

Fountains beautify cities and make them more livable, peaceful, and inviting. They soften the edges of the steel and concrete, and they help the passersby slow down the hustle and bustle of their busy lives.

The Printers Row Park Advisory Council (PAC) needs your help! Almost a quarter of a century old, the Fountain at Printers Row Park is in serious need of restoration, above and below ground. Help us replace its colored enamel reliefs and polish its bronze highlights, upgrade its lighting, repair its pump and pipes so that this unique civic treasure can, once again, gush forth with its original energy and spirit,

In total, we need to raise $110,000 to complete the restoration by the spring of 2022. We requested and are awaiting approval from the Chicago Park District for $35,000 towards the project. Our 4th Ward Alderperson, Sophia King, has not only agreed to provide $35,000 towards the restoration but has also agreed to match dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 in donations that we receive! 

That leaves Printers Row PAC to fundraise $40,000! Please contribute whatever you can to support the South Loop community in bringing the Fountain at Printers Row Park back to its original glory! Visit the fountain before and after the restoration so that you can appreciate the significance of this project.

You can find a link to the donation page at this location.  

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Basketball Courts at 18th and State are Getting a Facelift ; Aiming to be Ready in Spring 2022

The iconically Chicago public basketball courts at 18th and State that sit under the Orange and Green lines are getting a face lift (via DePaul): 

The Chicago Park District joins Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd Ward), DePaul University and local community members to break ground on the renovation of Margaret Hie Ding Lin Park, in the Near South community area, on Monday, August 30, 2021. The public park located at 1735 S. State St. features a basketball court, which will be fully renovated to provide additional opportunities for basketball programming for the community in partnership with DePaul University. The makeover is a valuable improvement over the existing facility and a welcome upgrade for park visitors and aspiring athletes seeking access to better quality public urban spaces to engage in active recreation and play.

In addition to the revamped basketball court, the renovation will include a new half court facility, new bleachers, benches, lighting and a drinking fountain. Updated landscape and ADA accessibility improvements will also be part of the overall renovation. Located adjacent to the Orange Line CTA 'L' Train, the park is expected to be completed in Spring 2022 and will be a destination sports play area for future generations of players and current athletes to gather and play.

Beyond being home to neighborhood pick-up games, these courts have played host to various commercials for brands such as Nike, Adidas and Gatorade (some Sloopin coverage here). 

While no one is going to complain about these courts getting upgraded, the "urban" feel of the courts that likely resulted in the commercials being shot here is likely going to be gone...but we're ok with that.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Flying Over the The 78 Development Lot

 The 78 promises to be a big addition to the Sloop, here is a different vantage point that shows how big the space actually is:

Friday, August 27, 2021

Kanye's Donda Experience at Solider Field Certainly Sounds Like an Experience

We've been curiously awaiting reviews and videos from last nights Donda Experience at Soldier Field.  While we imagine the phrase "you had to be there" is an understatement, we thoroughly enjoyed the Chicago Tribune's write-up on the spectacle.  Here is a key blurb that encapsulates the event:

To be honest, it’s how I imagine a listening party with Kanye West going. He invites me over. I wait two hours after the agreed upon time for him to arrive. Kanye being Kanye, just to irritate me, courting attention, he shows up with Marilyn Manson and DaBaby in tow — Manson who faces several assault lawsuits, DaBaby under fire for homophobic remarks at a music festival last month in Miami. They wander the house looking uncertain. Meanwhile, outside on the street, perhaps in Kanye’s mind, the house is under siege by black cars and a faceless army. The music he plays is challenging and interesting but after a while, it’s hard to pay attention to what I’m hearing, and just before it’s all over, in case I didn’t grasp Kanye’s frame of mind, he sets himself on fire.

Some of the videos we've seen are... unsurprisingly Kanye.  Afterall he literally built a replica of his South Side Chicago home in the middle of Soldier Field (via WGN):

Material coming out of the event seems a little limited for some reason.  Here is one we found that wasn't subtle - if fans had any doubt what they were getting themselves into:

And here is some actual music with DaBabby (the cancelled Lollapalooza headliner referenced above):

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Chabad South Loop Hosts Jewish High Holiday Services at Glessner House Courtyard

 If you're looking for a place in the Sloop to celebrate the Jewish High Holidays:

From Chabad:

High Holiday Services at the beautiful Glessner House Courtyard

You are invited to join Chabad Jewish Center of South Loop to celebrate the High Holidays outdoors at the historic Glessner House Courtyard!

Services at Chabad of South Loop are warm and welcoming and feature inspirational commentary and melodies. The High Holidays are a powerful time of connection and meaning.

There is no charge to join, but space is limited so it is recommended to RSVP as soon as possible. Registration is required.

Rosh Hashanah Dinner Under the Stars

The community Rosh Hashanah Dinner will take place under the stars in the beautiful Glessner House Courtyard. The lavish dinner will be catered and will blend traditional Rosh Hashanah foods with contemporary dishes, all enjoyed in the festive spirit of the holiday. Registration is required. There is no charge to join, but space is limited so it is recommended to RSVP as soon as possible.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

X Pot Looks to be Making Progress on Their Buildout at Roosevelt Collection

Looks like the Robots are still coming to Roosevelt Collection:

As a reminder, X Pot is a highly immersive dining experience that incorporates projections, sound, light and ROBOTS! Yes, server robots! We posted about this concept way back in 2019 and have been curious/skeptical about the concept.  We weren't sure if they were still coming to Roosevelt Collection given the pandemic, but looks like they will be coming to the Sloop!

Looking forward to this one.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Cisco Still Moving Into The Old Post Office

One of the biggest questions from the pandemic is the impact on work.  A big tennant at The Old Post Office looks like they're still moving forward with their plans to relocate (via Chicago Tribune):
Technology firm Cisco Systems announced this week it’s moving its regional offices in Rosemont to downtown Chicago where the city will serve as the company’s Midwest “hub,” officials tell the Tribune.

The San Francisco-based IT giant has had a plan in the works for years now to consolidate city and suburban offices in Chicago’s redeveloped Old Post Office at 433 W. Van Buren St., along the Chicago River, which will now be home to the hub.

Jobs span across sales, sales engineering, services, collaboration and operations roles, according to a Cisco spokesman. The Tribune reported in 2019 that Cisco was negotiating rent on 130,000 square feet of office space in the long-vacant old post office. The new Cisco space can accommodate 1,200 employees. The company sees the Chicago office, a micro-headquarters of sorts, as a “space where teams can come together under a hybrid work model, while showcasing how our technology can power a more hybrid way of working for our teams, customers, and partners,” the Cisco spokesman said.

The announcement comes at a time when downtown Chicago is trying to get back on its feet amid a pandemic that at one point turned the Loop and environs into a ghost town. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has previously said the pandemic didn’t stop businesses from moving into Chicago; in all 32 businesses have set up shop since the COVID-19 outbreak took hold here, she has said.

Ironically, beyond this we also had a meeting recently (not about Sloopin) with a small startup media company that was looking at space at The Old Post Office.  Curious to see how the commercial real estate market evolves post pandemic.


Friday, August 20, 2021

Kanye West Bringing the Donda Album Experience to Soldier Field Next Week (8/26)

Looks like Kanye is coming home for a concert at Soldier Field next week (via Pitchfork):

After two different events at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta this summer, Kanye West has announced a third Donda listening session. This one’s taking place in his hometown of Chicago, at Soldier Field, on August 26. Tickets go on sale August 20.

The second event, which livestreamed via Apple Music, featured a more elaborate stage show, multiple new songs, and significant updates to tracks he debuted at the first listening session. When Donda didn’t arrive for its originally scheduled July release date, West’s representatives confirmed a new August 6 release date. The album has still not been officially released.

It sounds like tickets go onsite today at noon, so if you're interested probably good to head on over to ticketmaster during that time.  We're guessing it will sellout (especially given the novelty of the event as it's the third of who knows how many).

Kanye remains one of the most enigmatic figures in popular culture.  We're not going to get into all of that right now, but the fact that he was born and raised in Chicago means that he maintains a connection and loyal following here.  We are captivated by him and still listen to some of his older albums (more recent stuff just hasn't appealed as much to us).

You can read more about The Donda Album Experience here.  We found this news segment on YouTube if you're looking for some info:

The segment is....typical Kanye these days. Highly visual and avant garde. Take that for what it's worth. 

Kanye has a history of using Chicago for promotion.  He brought his Sunday Service to Northerly Island a couple years back (although at that point, it was already widely viewed in different locales).  Back in 2013 he projected a video for his new song called "New Slaves" on the Field Museum as a promotional launch.

To be honest, we're unsure what motivates Kanye these days.  While he stands to make money (we would assume), he seems to be more focused on pushing the envelope of culture - for good or bad depending on your perspective. 

Nonetheless - expect some stories coming out of Soldier Field next week.  

Thursday, August 19, 2021