Thursday, April 17, 2014

7 Townhouses Coming to 1900 S. Calumet

More and more building projects continue to emerge in the Sloop (via Curbed Chicago):
The South Loop will soon be getting some new spacious residential units in the form of a townhome development planned for 1900 South Calumet Avenue. The current zoning for the lot allows for upwards of 31 units, however the developer Harbor Side LLC plans to only build seven units in the form of two buildings. At four stories tall, the townhouses designed by architect Michael J. Leary will range in size, with the larger units containing roughly 4500-5700 square feet of space and each residence will include two parking spaces.

Looks pretty nice to us.  The neighborhood could use more family friendly housing options.

(Hat tip:  VC!)

Parking Situation at the Post Office Just North of State and 21st Street

A reader writes about a problem at the neighborhood post office:
I'm writing about the post office at 21st & State. 
Below is a photo showing the problem.

This is the "customer parking area". All taken up by cars belonging to USPS employees.
This forces real customers to use the surrounding streets, a difficult task for a variety of reasons. 
I'm sure when this location was built the zoning code required them to have a certain number of off-street parking spaces of their customers. 
This post office has an employee parking lot on the other side of the building, but an employee (the postmaster wouldn't speak to me) said they're aren't enough spaces and it makes it difficult for the trucks. 
These cars need to go somewhere else so customers can park and unload their packages adjacent to the entrance.
Funny you write, because we've noticed this and also been frustrated.  Definitely doesn't seem right.

Our suggestion would be to email the 3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell -

(Hat tip:  RP!)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New McCormick Place/DePaul Plan Works Around Legal Land Hurdles

New McCormick Place/Motor Row Expansion Plan (via DNAinfo)
New plans for Motor Row and the proposed DePaul event center have emerged out of a community meeting earlier this week (via DNAinfo):
The massive redevelopment of the South Loop that would bring in the new DePaul Athletic Arena and a $400 million hotel would also include a new park and a plan to move the historic Harriet Rees House, community leaders said Monday night. 
The South Loop makeover is poised to attract traffic and tourists headed for McCormick Place — along with new businesses and residents — issues that have led to opposition from the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance and other community groups. 
The meeting at Second Presbyterian Church of Chicago, 1936 S. Michigan Ave. drew about 200 residents, several of whom voiced their concerns during a question-and-answer session at the end of the evening.

We had a post about the Harriet Rees House a couple of weeks ago and really there isn't a ton of new info here.  Regardless, should be interesting to see how this progresses.

The one piece that is new to us is the timing.  We've posted about some of the legal issues the initial plan had (mainly based on acquiring land), but according to a post on Curbed Chicago this new plan works around the issue:
As far as timelines are concerned, McPier wants to move quickly with the plan. It had previously been held up due to a land dispute, however now that the map and (some of the) buildings have been redrawn, McPier says that it is now go time. The ginormous redevelopment proposal heads to the Chicago Plan Commission on April 23, and if all goes according to the predetermined schedule, everything will be completed by Spring 2017.
Sounds like this is moving forward.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

McCormick Market Opens On Cermak

Signs appeared for McCormick Market back in February and it looks like they're now open - via an email from a reader:
Just an FYI that "Cermak Market" at Cermak/Michigan (next door to Papa John's) is now open.  
It's a convenience store with the usual features, but has a deli that does sandwiches and a coffee station. Glad to see this open up in the neighborhood. A welcome and needed addition to the area. Hope it does well.
Sounds like a nice addition and glad their doing the sandwiches.  More places to get a quick bite would really help the area in our opinion!

Business counter is back in the black thanks to this opening!

(Hat tip:  DN!)

Monday, April 14, 2014

ASAP Wellness Center Moving into 730 S. Dearborn

A couple readers have sent us emails about a new business coming in on Dearborn:
I just noticed this appears to have opened up on Dearborn in the space where H+ records used to be: 
Looks like an urgent care/walk-in clinic (which there are already two of within a few blocks; Mercy right across the street and Physicians Immediate Care on State), but with some eastern medicine thrown in. 
I don't remember seeing anything on sloopin about it, so maybe it can put the business counter into positive integers :)

Glad to see, thanks for sending!

(Hat tip:  AD

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dilapidated Building at 1323 S. Michigan Looking for Zoning Change

A reader writes about potential zoning changes at an old, but promising building on South Michigan:
Not sure what this means, but just wanted to let you know I received letter related to a zoning appeal for 1323 S Michigan. In the letter, it stated that "the purpose of the Variation Application at 1323 South Michigan is to reduce the number of parking spaces to 17 instead of the required 21 and to reduce the loading berth requirement from one berth to zero berths to allow for the conversion of the existing building to a 30 dwelling unit building with commercial space on the ground floor"
Sounds like they're getting ready to renovate this building.  Guess we will see.

It seems like a pretty cool building and it will be nice to have some more retail space and not some dilapidated space on Michigan Avenue.  Slowly but surely, this stretch is becoming quite the destination.

(Hat tip:  JC!)

Friday, April 11, 2014

What's Going In At Long Vacant 1401 South State Retail?

A reader writes:
I was on my way to the train this morning and noticed a head poking out of the vacant commercial space on the ground floor of 1401 S State. Hadn't noticed any activity there at all since I've been in the neighborhood. Also noticed a building permit in the doorway. Description looked pretty bland and boring ("new offices"?) - I was hoping something more like Go Grocer or South Loop Market would be moving in (nothing more convenient than a nice convenience every other block). I did some amatuer sleuthing on the Department of Buildings website and pulled the permit info pasted below and even tried calling the contact number to see if I could find out more, but no luck. Seemed like a good excuse to email sloopin for the first time. Anyway, if anything interesting is going in, hope you do a post to let your readers know. 

Does anyone have the scoop?

(Hat tip: EA!)

Kroll's Earns Some Trivia Love from CBS Chicago

Bar trivia is fun, can be challenging and is often a good excuse to get a drink with friends on a "school night".  Last year a reader asked where you should go to for trivia in the Sloop and there were a couple of good options listed.

Well recently CBS Chicago gave Kroll's a shout-out for their trivia:
Kroll's (via
Kroll’s South Loop 1736 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 235-1400  

Date: Wednesdays at 8 p.m.  
After a long day at work, unwind with a trivia game challenge at Kroll’s South Loop. The trivia game is free to play and serves a great way to break up the workweek. Kroll’s South Loop offers a wide selection of beer, including Oskar Blues Old Chub, Leffe Blond, Bell’s Third Coast and Two Brothers Prairie Path; for the complete list, check out Kroll’s website. The South Loop bar also offers a selection of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and pizza, and a late-night menu for a post-game meal.
(Hat tip:  KM!)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Chicago 2016 - Still Doubtful, but Maybe?

Roll your eyes (we did), but there could be a tiny sliver of hope that Chicago may still host the 2016 Olympics.  While it seems like we hear about all of the doom and gloom about Olympics building issues every year (just look back a couple months to Sochi), the lastest out of Rio is that it's the worst.

Seems pretty dramatic, but whatever.  NBC 5 provides a report:
So take this for what it is - not much. It's comical that the "Chicago Olympic" story won't die... For some of our coverage on this topic pertaining to the Sloop click here.

AMLI's New Apartments Ready for Occupancy in July

Bedroom at New AMLI (via Curbed Chicago)
Via Curbed Chicago:
After having just completed a high-rise building in River North, apartment megadeveloper AMLI is preparing to have its AMLI Lofts development in Printer's Row completed by this July. Adding 398 rental units and 5,000 square feet of streetfront retail to the corner of Clark and Polk should be a boon for the Printer's Row neighborhood of the South Loop.
While the design is fine (a little blah for our tastes), it will be nice to have some more retail on South Clark.

The post also has some more pics.

Kids and Company to Replace JTA Schools at 1255 S. State

A reader writes:
Noticed there's a Kids and Company sign atop the building where JTA schools is located. kids and Co has a west loop location. And idea what's going on at the JTA location? Maybe a partnership?
Funny you ask - we actually just received a note from the company letting us know:
Chicago families will have access to unique, award-winning and proprietary child care programs and services when Kids & Company, a Canadian leader in the industry, launches its second U.S. center in May.

The South Loop Chicago location, 1255 S. State St. will be open to families in the community taking the former JTA School space. It will provide full-time, part-time and emergency backup care for children from the ages of six weeks to six years.

Kids & Company provides a unique model of child care that includes guaranteed placement, no late fees, secure web cams and proprietary educational programs such as Alpha-Mania (pre- literacy and reading), Mini Masters (artistic expression) and Munchkinetics (physical activity and movement) as well as science and exploration, music, Spanish, and sign language for infants.
For more info, here is their website.

The other Chicago location is in the West Loop and seems to have pretty good reviews.

Welcome to the Sloop and best of luck!

(Hat tip:  CD!)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pita Belly Closes - Replaced by Bull Chicks at 606 S. Wabash

A reader sent us this pic and writes:

We never tried Pita Belly - so not sure what we missed.  It looks like Bull Chicks is a small chain with a smattering of restaurants around the country (Texas, California, South Carolina, Minnesota).

The menu looks interesting and makes us curious enough to give it a try.

The reader who sent us this pic also mentioned that STA Travel on congress closed.  If you remember they opened in 2012.

Business counter is up-to-date.

(Hat tip:  MJ!)

Panozzo's Signage Coming Down; Ameritalia Gets Their Keys

Last week we posted about Ameritalia moving in to the old Panozzo's space.  Well apparently that happening - a reader sent us the picture above and writes:
I saw the new guys peeling off Panozzo's signage today. It's the end of an era, and it's happening!
We couldn't agree more - but are excited to see what Ameritalia has to offer.  We also saw they a Facebook page and some pics:

(Hat tip:  MK!)