Monday, August 31, 2015

AMLI Pays City to Install Divvy Station Outside their Buildings on Clark

As we know, more and more housing options seem to spring up daily in the Sloop.  Competition is fierce and the peeps at AMLI added a interesting (and smart) amenity to their properties (via Chicago Tribune):
A Chicago real estate developer paid the city $56,000 to install a Divvy bicycle-sharing station outside two of its apartment buildings in the South Loop, officials are expected to announce Friday.

The agreement with AMLI Residential marks the first private purchase of a Divvy station since the bike-sharing program was launched in mid-2013, officials said. City officials called the deal a "private donation."  
AMLI covered the cost of installing the 15-dock station at Clark and Ninth streets and provided 10 bikes, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.  
The station, which is already open, is part of the 476-station Divvy system and is operated for public use like all other stations, officials said. The only difference is that the station will have an AMLI logo added soon, officials said.

We're big fans of the Divvy program and if we were searching for a new place this would probably sway us.

What do you think?  Smart move to lure tenants?  Or unnecessary desperate move?

(Hat tip:  RW!)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Sloopin Open House:
Spacious 3 Bed Loft Living in Printers Row

In honor of our Mayor's admiration of Printer's Row architecture, we felt it would be fitting to highlight an open house this week that is the epitome of this sentiment.  That is the historic Donohue Annex building at 727 S. Dearborn:
 The specific unit that's having an open house this Sunday (8/30) from 1-3pm is #911 and it's got plenty of character to cause us to be intrigued.  Whether it's built-in shelves, raised floors or a general spacious layout, this unit looks lovely:
Even more interesting to us is that this unit has a huge private terrace with Northern facing views, something we rarely see in some of these old conversion buildings.
The unit seems reasonable priced at $550K, but that doesn't include parking (another $40K) and assessments are on the high side ($1,174).  However, it is a unique unit so head on over and check it out.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Commercial for Hyatt Regency Filming at Burnham Station (Clark and 15th)

A reader writes:
Just wanted to tip you guys off that there's a commercial filming at Burnham Station (Clark and 15th). See the attached images for reference and more details.

If professional filming is of interest to you, head on over.  It's usually an interesting process.

(Hat tip:  CM!)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

So What Are the Sloop's Boundaries?

The existential question that really doesn't matter - what are the South Loop's boundaries?

With some nifty interactive technology DNAinfo put the question out to their readers to define different neighborhoods in the city.  Not surprisingly, there isn't much of a consensus for our neighborhood.

We've gotten a fair amount of emails on the topic and given our love for the hood figured we would weigh in (take if for what it's worth).  Since this question has been asked to us before, we even have a page on our website dedicated to clarifying this topic - something we call the Sloopin map.
Just in case anyone wonders what constitutes sloopin, here is a general map of what we consider the "sloopin" area:

It mainly focuses on the blue area (South Loop and Printer's Row) but for good measure we also consider the red area (Near South Side) and green area (?) part of sloopin. With these parameters set, we essentially try to keep readers up to date on anything that's going on in the area. 
Occasionally we'll have posts on things outside of our jurisdiction, but in some way all postings should have some relation to the sloopin areas.

So in case you can't tell by the map we define "the South Loop" as Congress on the north, Michigan/Lake Shore on the east, 18th on south and the river on the west.

But let's be honest, none of this really matter.  It's fun to debate, but at the end of the day neighborhoods are typically defined/created thanks to real estate marketing and businesses trying to associate with neighborhoods that will help their bottom line.

Anywho...let us know what you think and/or join the conversation at DNAinfo.

(Hat tip: DB, AT, ND, CC!)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Rendering of High-Rise at Michigan and Roosevelt Shows Up and is Removed from Crescent Heights Website

Some more juicy real estate rumors for some of the most high-profile space in the Sloop.

According to Curbed Chicago and SkyscrapperPage Forums:
On a subsection of developer Crescent Heights' website (page is now not available), an image has appeared on a page labeled Michigan & Roosevelt, promoting an upcoming development for what is currently a vacant lot. Although the rendering, which only shows the lower floors of a new tower, could just merely be a placeholder design for the purposes of the webpage, the image could also very well be a sneak peek of the proposal said to be designed by well known architect Rafael Vinoly. If the rumors turn out to be true, this would be the first major high-rise project for Vinoly's firm to be located in Chicago.
The post also gives some intriguing details:
Crescent Heights currently lists the proposed tower as 1255 South Indiana Avenue, and is rumored to rise 70 floors. According to the high-rise watchers on the SkyscraperPage forums, the tower could rise up to 835 feet to the top of the parapet and 862 feet to the top of a decorative roof structure. If the building does indeed climb to that final height figure, it would be the tallest all-residential building in Chicago, provided nothing more than simple ground floor retail space is also included in the building.

The Crescent Heights webpage also lists 30,000 square feet of retail and 1,900 units, although it would be highly unlikely for these figures to be for only one tower. A second building is expected to be constructed at the southeast corner of Michigan and Roosevelt and as such, the figures could be inclusive of both towers as well as any nearby land holdings which could be considered as part of a phased project.
This specific lot has been the subject of much speculation around the interwebs and here at Sloopin.  Reoccurring renderings for "The Chicago" has been at the center of this, but frankly a lot of that has been suspect.

With that said, this seems the most realistic especially since it's on the website of the owner of the land.

It's just a matter of time until something goes up.  Hopefully it will be interesting.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Police Issue Warning After Two Violent South Loop Robberies

Be safe (via Chicago Sun-times):
Two violent robberies in the South Loop in the last week have prompted police to issue a community alert. 
The robberies were reported about 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 21 in the 0-100 block of West Harrison and about 9 p.m. on Aug. 22 in the 900 block of South Michigan, police said. 
In both cases, two males walked up to people on the sidewalk and punched or knocked them to the ground, police said. As the victim was on the ground, suspects either continued to kick them, or one suspect held them down while the other went through their pockets. 
In one case, the suspects stole a victim’s computer equipment. The suspects were described as black males, between 5-foot-9 and each weighing between 160 and 200 pounds, police said. 
Anyone with information on the robberies is asked to call Area Central detectives at (312) 747-8384.

(Hat tip: AC!)

Well What Do you Know - Rahm Likes Printer's Row Architecture

Dearborn Street in the Heart of Printer's Row
We always enjoy reading Blair Kamin's architecture writing in the Chicago Tribune and that sentiment was definitely true yesterday.  Kamin laid out a informative piece about Mayor Emanuel's push to incorporate design into future projects and whatnot.

While the piece was good and pretty informative, one sub-story stuck out.  When asked what his favorite architecture in the city was, Rahm listed some buildings in the Loop, but also added this note about our neighborhood (via Chicago Tribune):
Printing House District, or Printers' Row, by many Chicago architects. Built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and revitalized starting in the late 1970s, this high-rise district south of the Loop was once a center for the printing trades. It's now home to stylish loft apartments, hotels and shops. "I love how they've been integrated, revised, rethought," the mayor said of the buildings. "It's just redefined that whole area."

Nice plug Rahm - nice plug!  We tend to agree with this view...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Liquor License Application at 1329 S. Michigan:
For Succezz Shoe Store or New Massage/Spa Business?

We received a couple emails about an application for a liquor license at 1329 S. Michigan.

One reader writes:
Received this in the mail. The address is where the Succezz, the shoe store is. How does this make any sense? A shoe store that needs a "massage with liquor" license?

Yes, this is the address for Succezz the shoe store, but maybe this is for a new business on the second floor?  Judging by the applicant name in the image above, it seems like a generic business INC.

Could South Michigan be getting another spa type of business?  We've heard of spa concepts that included alcohol.  That would make more sense than Succezz.

Anyway, anyone have any scoop or insight into this liquor license?

(Hat tip:  MK & JG!)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

#ShotsAroundTheSloop: The Sloop Tavern

A reader writes and sends this shot:
Taken in Seattle...
(Hat tip:  MM!)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Sloopin Open House:
Hear the Cheer (or Groans) From Your Living Room

Bears season is just around the corner, so we figured we would direct your attention to an open house that will allow you to open up your window and hear the roar of the crowd cheering for a Bears touchdown (or maybe a groan from an opponent scoring which seems more likely the year).

If this view looks enticing, head on over this Sunday (8/23) from 1-3pm to 1515 S. Pairie Ave #508 to check out a 2 bed/2 bath listed at $360K.  The unit looks nice and well kept but nothing super unordinary.  Judging by the picture below and at the listing the unit appears to have some nice built-in cabinets and whatnot:

Friday, August 21, 2015

Beware of Traffic Delays In and Around the Sloop Due to Bryne Interchange Construction

If you're going to be driving this weekend (and some other upcoming weekend) get ready for some major traffic inconveniences (via Chicago Tribune):
A major phase of the Byrne Interchange overhaul begins Wednesday night with the closing of a ramp between the Kennedy Expressway and Congress Parkway. And then it will get only worse. 
Over the next two weekends, Congress will be completely closed under the Old Post Office, and traffic on the Kennedy and Dan Ryan expressways will be reduced to one lane as crews install large steel beams for a flyover ramp from the inbound Dan Ryan to the outbound Eisenhower. 
During a weekend at the end of September and another in the middle of October, traffic on the inbound Kennedy and both directions on the Eisenhower will be down to one lane.

It's most likely going to be ugly out there, so be prepared or make alternative routes.  The Tribune has some good maps for all the different closings, but we will just post the one for this weekend and the next:


  • I-290 (Eisenhower): Eastbound (10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday), westbound (5 a.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Monday). 
  • I-90/94 (Ryan and Kennedy): Both directions will be reduced to one lane overnight (8 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday). The southeast ramp will also be closed for the weekend.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Some of the Pros and Cons of Lollapalooza

The Lollapalooza hangover is slowly fading away (yes it's been 3 weeks), but one nuisance that remains is the annual Grant Park repairs stemming from the festivals footprint (via Chicagoist).
While this year wasn't the worst, it still means that: Promoter C3 Presents is footing the $236,223 cleanup bill to repair Grant Park following the three-day music fest, Chicago Park District officials have announced. 
Cleanup is currently underway and could last through the third week of September, according to the park district, with some areas of the park roped off to visitors. Park cleanup costs are usually fairly steep at the end of Chicago's biggest music fests, especially in years when rainfall muddies the park grounds. This year's repair costs are lower for Lollapalooza than last year's $266,000 in repairs, possibly because there was less rain this year while the fest was underway—though the park was briefly evacuated due to storm warnings.
While we're not going to attempt to come to a definitive decision on whether or not this festival is good or bad for the city, we will say that this year we noticed how much prep and repair is necessary for this event.  

The festival is just three days (which is fine in our eyes), but the weekend we were walking around and realized that pretty much the entire park from Washington to Roosevelt was inaccessible (minus a little path for tourists to still get to Buckingham Fountain).  While that was annoying we didn't think much about it.  However, the weekend after Lolla we walked by Hutchinson Field and it was roped off for repairs.  Moral of the story is that the actual Lollapalooza festival is 3 days, but their occupancy is much longer.

On the flip side, it appears that more and more businesses and organizations are reaping the benefits of this massive event and all the attention it gets.  The most prominent example we saw this year was the #DellLounge which apparently took over the Spertus museum at 610 S. Michigan for the weekend.  While we didn't attend, the whole building was lit up over the weekend with prominent branding on the glass exterior:

While we have no way of knowing how much Dell paid for this, it couldn't have been cheap.

So like every year, there are pros and cons to this festival being in our back yard.  Everyone will have different feelings, but at this stage this festival isn't going anywhere (contract signed until 2021).

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Spoke & Bird Gets Glowing Review from Chicagoist

We still haven't been to Spoke & Bird (1801 S. Indiana), however we had high hopes.  If this most recent review from the Chicagoist is any indication, we need to head on tomorrow:
Let's start with beverages. Like its predecessor Cafe Society, Spoke and Bird was originally more of a cafe that catered to the lunch crowd and closed early. However, when it added beers on tap from Illinois microbreweries like Pig Mind in Rockford, Penrose in Geneva and Metropolitan in Chicago, it expanded its hours of operation so that guests can enjoy them on the charming, tree-covered beer garden until 8 p.m. every day.  
Breakfast and lunch are still the biggest draws at Spoke and Bird, with tempting options like a pecorino and Swiss omelette, stacks of pancakes with whiskey butter and maple bourbon syrup or Three Sisters rolled oats with apple cider and grapefruit. I went for dinner and had one of the best salads I've ever had: a kale and roasted vegetable medley with pecorino cheese, granola and a honey citronette dressing. As a rule, I never eat salads as meals, but this was a game changer. When I go back I'll take them up on the option to add a fried egg to the top. I also heard some good things about the Lambeque sandwich, which consists of cured and smoked lamb and a Lexington style vinegar and pepper sauce on Texas toast.
Kale and Roasted Vegetable Salad (image via Chicagoist)

Looks and sounds delicious!

(Hat tip:  JD!)