Saturday, March 28, 2015

Shuffling Through the Sloop: Shamrock Shuffle is Tomorrow

Shamrock Shuffle is tomorrow (3/29).  Here's a friendly reminder of some of the street closures and the race map:
The 36th annual Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K will take place the morning of Sunday, March 29, 2015. 
The race course will pass near your property. Please be advised that the following streets will be closed to traffic on Sunday, March 29, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.* as runners pass through the area (we've highlighted streets in the Sloop):
  • Columbus Dr. from Roosevelt Rd. to Grand Ave. 
  • Grand Ave. from Columbus Dr. to State St. 
  • State St. from Grand Ave. to Jackson Blvd. 
  • Jackson Blvd. from State St. to La Salle St. 
  • La Salle St. from Jackson Blvd. to Randolph St. 
  • Randolph St. from La Salle St. to Franklin St. 
  • Franklin St. from Randolph St. to Harrison St. 
  • Harrison St. from Franklin St. to Michigan Ave. 
  • S. Michigan Ave. (northbound lanes) from Harrison St. to Roosevelt Rd. 
  • Roosevelt Rd. (westbound lanes) from Michigan Ave. to Columbus Dr.

And here's the course map for those of you who are interested:

One Killed, One Wounded at Shooting in Motor Row Night Club

A late night shooting at a Motor Row night club (via Sun-Times):
One man was killed and another was wounded in a shooting in Riff Music Lounge in the South Loop early Saturday, police said. 
About 1:20 a.m., a 36-year-old man was inside the nightclub in the 2200 block of South Michigan when he got into an argument with another man about a woman, police said. 
The other man was escorted out of the club and later returned, pulled out a gun and opened fire, police said.
Riff Music Lounge opened in late 2013.

(Hat tip:  CG!)

The Sloopin Open House
Open, Airy and Hip in Printer's Row

The Sloopin Open House is a new weekly feature on the site where we highlight some of the more interesting open houses we see every week. We're not claiming they're the best deals or that we would necessarily recommend jumping all over the opportunity, but I doesn't hurt to look, right?

You're probably noticing that we're suckers for lofts.  We don't live in one, but conceptually they appeal to us here at Sloopin.

Which brings us to this weeks feature open house at 727 S. Dearborn (which is a different unit then the one we featured in the same building last week).  Clearly this building has some quirks to it.  Last week it was a multi-level unit with a spiral staircase.

This week it's a 1bd/1bth oozes sleek, modern open space coolness.  The listing says it's 1,500 square feet and it better be for $423K (with $822 monthly assessments).

But let's not dwell on the negatives.  If you need to up your hip quotient, maybe you should check this out and pony up some scrilla.

This open house is happening on March 28th from 1-3pm.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Zaki Mediterranean Grill Moving in at 610 W. Roosevelt

Upon a recent drive down Roosevelt we noticed that a new restaurant is apparently opening:
Zaki Mediterranean Grill (pictured on left)
It doesn't appear that this is a chain or anything, just a new Mediterranean Grill.  We did find a website listing some information on them and a logo:
On the website there is also a logo for "Hallal" which is something we've heard of, but weren't intimately familiar with.  After some googling we found this:
Halal is often used in reference to foods and drinks, i.e. foods that are permissible for Muslims to eat or drink under Islamic ShariĘ»ah (law). The criteria specifies both what foods are allowed, and how the food must be prepared. The foods addressed are mostly types of meat and animal tissue.  
The most common example of non-halal (or haraam) food is pork. While pork is the only meat that cannot be eaten by Muslims at all (due to historical, cultural, and hygienic concerns), foods other than pork can also be haraam. The criteria for non-pork items include their source, the cause of the animal's death, and how it was processed.
So now you use this knowledge for Trivia night or next time you watch Jeopardy.

Anyway...this block of Roosevelt is going through a pretty big change (mainly across the street).  Before there were a ton of random local businesses, but now some big chains have moved in including Petco, Sleepy's, Vitamin Shoppe and a soon to open Golfsmith.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

CMK's Land Grab Next to the Chicago River Progresses

A view of one of the empty lots that CMK bought next to the Chicago River - looking north from Roosevelt
From Crain's:
Residential developer CMK has cleared two more hurdles in its South Loop land grab, dropping more than $33 million on a pair of properties along the Chicago River.
A CMK venture paid $22.9 million last month for a 5.1-acre vacant parcel north of Roosevelt Road on the east bank of the river, one of the largest development sites in the South Loop, according to Cook County property records.
Another venture led by the Chicago developer paid $10.5 million for an empty 1.9-acre site just north of the River City housing complex, county records show.

CMK, whose recent projects include a 714-unit condominium tower at 245 W. Van Buren St., has emerged as the boldest buyer of South Loop land since the crash. In December it paid $7.8 million for a 1.8-acre property just south of River City.

As you might recall, this is a follow-up to the post we did back in January.  However, it appears that the article in Crain's at the start of the year was a little misleading.  CMK has actually bought a property South AND North of River City on the Chicago River.  Back in January we read it as they bought two lots South of River City.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that CMK is betting big on the Sloop and specifically this area on the river.

The Crain's article also presumes that they will be utilizing the river in whatever they're doing with the space (although it seems like it's speculation):
CMK also is building a 307-unit apartment tower at 1333 S. Wabash. Yet the developer's two Wabash projects, while in a more established neighborhood, aren't on the Chicago River, an amenity it will almost certainly embrace in its plans for its newly acquired properties.
Finally, one more fun fact for your Thursday - the lot that they acquired north of River City (known as Franklin Point) was purchased from two former business partners of Jay-Z.  They had plans to develop the lot, but obviously will not be doing that.

(Hat tip:  JJ!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

#ShotsAroundTheSloop: Is it Spring?

A reader writes:
No SLoop development or business or brewery news- just a super-local, handcrafted ...billboard. This snow-ffiti was put on north side of The Franklin Building (720 S Dearborn ) this afternoon by a team of people. Lots of people were taking pix of it so maybe you already got some. This is the lot where Bob sells Christmas trees in December and dogs romp the rest of the year (except during Book Fair).

(Hat tip:  GM!)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Rubi's - A Hidden Sunday Taco Gem in the Sloop?

We love tacos.  Maybe we were late to the game, but for some reason 3 years ago it just clicked.  They're delicious...but we digress.

Anyway, we were recently reading the Eater Chicago blog and came across a map thing outlining 15 of the Greatest Taco Spots in Chicago.  To our surprise, their was a place in the Sloop we had no idea about:
Rubi's At Maxwell Street Market (800 S. Desplaines)
A mainstay at Maxwell Street Market since 1997, Rubi’s is one of the city’s best kept secrets. Every Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., people line up at the flea market for this stand that serves its famous al pastor tacos. The corn tortillas are made fresh on the spot and filled with everything from huitlacoche to cactus and squash blossom. Add a little homemade salsa on them and you’ll be coming back every week for more.

This sounds fun...see you there next Sunday!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Developer Looking to Purchase Vacant Lot from City at 1136 S. Wabash to Build Apartment Tower

And it looks like another vacant lot in the Sloop is getting developed (via Crains):
Vacant lot at 1136 S. Wabash (via Crains)
Chicago developer Keith Giles plans to build a 24-story apartment tower on South Loop land he would buy from the city for $4.4 million.  
Mayor Rahm Emanuel today introduced the potential land sale at 1136-40 S. Wabash Ave. to the City Council, according to a statement released from his office. If the sale is approved, Giles would spend $64 million developing a 280-unit apartment building on the parking lot that now stands on the 19,000-square-foot site, the statement said.
Interestingly enough, it appears that the developer tried to buy the same lot for $8 million in 2009.  Seems strange that the price would get chopped nearly in half given that the real estate market has seemed to improve drastically since 2009.  What do we know...

According to the article the building would have 10,000 square feet of ground level retail space.  As it stands now, this stretch of Wabash (generally from 11th to 14th) is one of the more vibrant areas of the neighborhood.  We only imagine that this building would help that momentum.

As a reminder, their is a rumor reputable rumor floating around that a BBQ restaurant with live music is coming to 1132 S. Wabash (which is just north of where this proposed apartment tower would be).

Development is surely getting hot.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Hey Hey - Get Your Sloopin "Hat Tip" T-Shirt

A friendly reminder that the Sloopin "Hat Tip" T-shirts are available for those of you who have recently submitted tips on published posts.   You're now officially eligible to get your t-shirt. If you see your initials below, please send an email to to let us know you're going to go to Well Future Pharmacy (1442 S. Michigan) to redeem your shirts:
  • AK
  • AT
  • NK
  • MD
  • GS
  • DT
  • AM
  • JL
  • BK
  • @tylereece
  • ESN
  • MR
  • RY
  • SN
  • JB
  • DS
  • AD
  • BS
  • TR
  • SH
  • SC
  • NK
  • KK
If this post doesn't mean anything to you and you're like "Wha?!?!? click here for some background on the Sloopin Hat Tip program. 

Thanks again for all the tips, photos, suggestions and whatnot. Without you Sloopin wouldn't exist!

#ShotsAroundTheSloop: Sail

A reader writes:
Today some interesting looking pavers are being laid along Roosevelt alongside the elevated bike bath. Some have words, SAIL, EXCAVATION, etc.
(Hat tip: LK!)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Sloopin Open House:
New Construction Walk-up

The Sloopin Open House is a new weekly feature on the site where we highlight some of the more interesting open houses we see every week. We're not claiming they're the best deals or that we would necessarily recommend jumping all over the opportunity, but I doesn't hurt to look, right?

You don't see many new construction, walk-up condo buildings in the Sloop, but here is one.  At the corner of State and Archer (1837 S. State) sits one complete building and another one on the way.

We've actually been to this open house and can attest for the quality construction at this place.  We are also a sucker for the vaulted ceilings and loft space (however, they're claiming the loft is the third bedroom which some people might scoff at).

A potential turn-off could be the close proximity to the EL (the unit sits on a lot right next to it) but if you can get over that, it's worth a look.

This 3bd/2bth penthouse unit is listed at $499K and is having their open house on Sunday (3/22) between noon and 2pm.

The Pains of Living By A Construction Zone

A reader writes:
Besides leaving the streets muddy in the vicinity, this crew has managed to knock down and break a traffic signal at 9th and State. The other lights are now set to flashing red.

As a reminder, this construction zone is due to a new high-rise coming to the southeast corner of State and 9th.

(Hat tip:  JS!)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Out with the Couture, In with the Baby's at Roosevelt Collection

Maybe this is a sign of what are neighborhood is these days - baby gear instead of trendy gear.

It appears that there is some new news at Roosevelt Collection's retail space.

A reader writes:
Well looks like ROC @ Roosevelt Collection might be RIP? Tarps in all the windows... Last week was signs showing 40-70 off everything.

In other retail news, it appears that the baby gear store Carter's is moving into the Roosevelt Collection:

Based on our false alarm (albeit probably a valid warning sign) about Republic of Couture in January we figured we would try to get some confirmation.  This is what a representative from Roosevelt Collection told us:
Republic of Couture has closed this location along with several of their other locations such as Scottsdale, AZ, Omaha, NE, Queens, NY and Oxnard, CA as well as disabling their website. We look forward to gaining back this high quality retail space since demand for new retail in the South Loop has increased and we look forward to welcoming a new tenant in the near future. Our next exciting retailer to join Roosevelt Collection is Carter’s opening at the end of March, along with our restaurant tenants planning openings for this Summer.

(Hat tip: SH, SC, NK, KK!)