Friday, August 1, 2014

YoChicago: Is the Sloop Experiencing a Rental Bubble?

New AMLI Lofts which will be rentals
Not the most in depth analysis, but YoChicago does pose a relevant question:
When the condo market hit the skids in the latter part of the last decade the South Loop was one of the neighborhoods with the greatest imbalance between supply and demand.
It took years to work off the excess inventory, some of which is still on the market in developments that were taken over by Related Midwest. South Loop developments that were built as condos converted to rentals, including Astoria Tower, Burnham Pointe, The LEX, Terrazio and Roosevelt Collection. Many South Loop condo owners, unable to sell, became “accidental landlords” and condo developers placed blocks of units into the rental market.
The South Loop is currently in the early stages of a boom in rental construction. AMLI Lofts, 398 units at 850 S Clark, is nearing completion and construction recently began on 469 units at 1000 S Clark. Golub & Company has yet to begin construction on its planned 392 units at 901 S State, a number of other large projects are in the rumor stage, and smaller projects have recently added several hundred units to the South Loop rental market.
(__futher down in the post__) 
Can the South Loop absorb several thousand new rental units at a time when 1,000s of units are being added annually in other neighborhoods? What impact will all the new rental units have on condo resales?
It does seem like the neighborhood is being built up pretty quickly again (and mostly in the form of rentals).  From an overall neighborhood development standpoint, it seems like this is a better problem to have then a glut of condos.

More people in the neighborhood means local businesses will have more patrons which will hopefully spawn more retail and as a result more reason for people to move to the Sloop...or at least that's our logic.

What do you think?  Is this a problem or a good thing?  Or is it too difficult to predict?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Here We Go Again: Lollapalooza 2014 Fun Times

Hutchinson Field Grant Park - South End of Lollapalooza
It's Thursday, July 31st and that only means two things:

1)  July is over (has summer started?)
2)  Outkast is in our BACKYARD - oh and Lollapalooza officially invades Chicago tomorrow

Well technically, it's already invaded the city as the build-out for the festival has been underway in Grant Park for well over a week.

Anyway, for better or worse, the South Loop is ground zero for the festival.  That means we have to deal with some of the inconveniences (see obnoxious people) but it also means we have easy access to one of the worlds most renowned music festivals.

As of today, we're shooting to be at all three days of the festival.  We're going to do some documenting, but we also like to highlight some of the artists we're excited to see.  So without further ado here are some of the acts we're looking forward to (and let us know if we missed something you're excited about that we should check-out):

FRIDAY
Bombay Bicycle Club (Friday, 2:30pm):

Broken Bells (Friday, 6:30pm):
SATURDAY
Temper Trap (Saturday, 3:15pm):
Gramatik (Saturday, 4:30pm):
Nas (Saturday, 5:45pm):
Calvin Harris (Saturday, 8:45pm):
Outkast (Saturday, 8:15pm - LOVE ME SOME 'KAST):
SUNDAY
Cage The Elephant (Sunday, 4:00pm):
The 1975 (Sunday: 4:45pm):
Chromeo (Sunday, 4:45pm):
Childish Gambino (Sunday, 6:00pm):
Chance the Rapper (Sunday, 8:30pm):
I'm exhausted just posting all of this...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Vice District Brewing to Open on August 22nd and Usher in Sloop's Beer Renaissance?

The men behind Vice District Brewing (via Chicagoist)
The Chicagoist poses an interesting question that we've been pondering for some time:
Is the South Loop Chicago’s latest beer destination? Vice District Brewing Co., which will be located at 1454 S. Michigan Ave, hopes so. They will officially open their doors on Friday, Aug. 22., one of several beer-centric businesses opening soon in the area including the re-vamped Villain’s, Motor Row Brewing, and South Loop Brewing.
We've been talking about breweries opening up in the neighborhood for years now and this will be the first one to actually open their doors.  So while we like to think the South Loop will be "Chicago's latest beer destination" we're going to suggest proceeding with caution.

Baby steps everyone.

Regardless, we're very excited Vice to open and can't wait to try out their new brews!

This is a very welcomed addition to the neighborhood - best of luck to these guys.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

George Lucas Chooses Star Powered Architects for Proposed Museum on Museum Campus

Now that we know that George Lucas is planning on building his museum in the neighborhood, we are going to be posting about this a lot.  Yesterday it was announced that Mr. Lucas picked the architects and if you like interesting designs you're probably excited about this announcement (Chicago Tribune):
Marilyn Monroe Towers
(via Wikipedia)
"Star Wars" creator George Lucas on Monday announced an architectural team for his controversial planned museum on Chicago's lakefront: an avant-garde Chinese designer whose credits include Toronto-area skyscrapers dubbed the "Marilyn Monroe Towers" and Chicago's Jeanne Gang, shaper of the undulating Aqua Tower here. 
Ma Yansong, founder of the Beijing firm MAD Architects, will design the building for Lucas' Museum of Narrative Art. Gang, who heads Studio Gang Architects, will conceive the landscape around the building and design a pedestrian bridge linking the museum to Northerly Island, a peninsula east of the museum site. 
The announcement of the star-studded team, a surprise given Lucas' penchant for traditional designs, has political implications for a project championed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. It would rise on 17 acres now occupied by parking lots between Soldier Field and McCormick Place.

Our favorite item of this project is the pedestrian bridge that Lucas has promised.  Here is the update:
Conceptual designs are expected to be released later this year.  
Lucas is promising to pay for the pedestrian bridge, which would have to be high enough to allow sailboats using Burnham Harbor to pass beneath. It won't come cheap. The price for a soon-to-be-built lakefront pedestrian bridge at 35th Street is pegged at more than $18 million.
Seems like we will hear more about the legal battle to prevent this from coming to fruition, but it seems like they're moving fast to get this thing started.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Harrison Street Red Line Stop Showing Signs of Progress; Scheduled to Open Today?

You may recall that the Harrison Red Line station was getting a revamp from an old post we did back in April.  Well Curbed Chicago checks in and shows some of the progress (see picture above):
The CTA's Harrison Street Red Line stop has been closed for over a month now, undergoing a $10 million renovation that the underground station sorely needed. Aside from the expected tech upgrades, fresh tile, and a new coat of paint, what was interesting about the CTA's announcement of the renovations was the new design for the canopy structures planned for the sidewalk stairway entrances on State Street. A serious departure from the historic, black, iron canopies over most of the downtown area subway entrances, this new design is modern and angular, with red metal beams and riveted glass panels. Now, with the station scheduled to reopen on Monday morning, we get our first look at the beginnings of these new canopy structures in person.
Did anybody use this station today?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sloopin Hat Tip T-Shirts Are Running Out!

We're almost out of Sloopin Hat Tip T-shirts, so if you're initials are below, hurry up and get to Well Future Pharmacy (1442 S. Michigan) while supplies last.  Looks like there are only a couple large and XL sizes left.

For background here is the story on the Sloopin Hat Tip T-shirt program. If you see your initials below and have submitted a story, you're eligible for a t-shirt: 

  • CM
  • MKR
  • RK
  • VG
  • AR
  • CJ
  • ES
  • JD
  • RB
  • RC
  • MS
  • AR
  • JG
  • JY
  • GM
  • AJ
  • AL
  • AD
  • CD
  • KP
  • BS
  • BBC
  • SD
  • RW
  • DL
  • SF
  • KK
  • VM
  • MK

As always, big hat tip to everyone who submitted!

And for those of you who already have a Sloopin Hat tip t-shirts - stay tuned for new details...we may have a new surprise for you!

Friday, July 25, 2014

SXL Nails & Massage Opens at 1460 S. Michigan

And another nail and massage place has opened - this one, SXL Nails & Massage, is open at 1460 S. Michigan:

We posted about their coming soon sign back in May.

Best of luck to them and welcome to the Sloop!

Business counter is updated as well.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Grant Park Skate Park Construction Completion Date Moved Up to October


This is slightly old news from DNAinfo, but still a good update on the progress:
Ald. William Burns (4th), Mayor Rahm Emanuel's wife Amy Rule, Park District Supt. Mike Kelly and Grant Park Conservancy President Bob O'Neill shoveled a ceremonial load of soil at the southern tip of Grant Park Monday to kick off construction on a three-acre skate park. 
The move was a formality, as construction was already underway to build the $2.65 million skate park designed by landscape architecture firm Altamanu. The construction timeline, originally set to be completed by the end of 2014, has been sped up in the hopes of opening the park by October, Kelly and O'Neill said Monday.
For those looking for background, here are a couple old Sloopin links (original post about project and construction has apparently begun on the park).

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Come Witness a Gigantic Historic House Moving

This should be a sight to see (via Curbed Chicago):
One of the biggest tasks McPier will undertake in preparation for the construction of the massive McCormick Place entertainment district is moving the 126 year old Harriet F. Rees House to a new location just one block away. The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (aka McPier) received a permit from the city a couple of weeks ago to relocate the landmarked three story home and now a date has been announced for the big move. According to the Greater South Loop Association, the historic Rees House will be moved to its new location on August 22.
How does an undertaking like this happen?
The home will be wrapped in braces and placed on a huge 29-wheel dolly which will crawl from its current location at 2110 S. Prairie Ave. to 2017 S. Prairie Ave.
Should be interesting!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thinking Outdoor Amenities?
Think South Loop Luxury by Related.

Sponsored Post


As summer rolls along in Chicago, the South Loop is the ideal city neighborhood for enjoying all things outdoors – from al fresco dining and beer gardens to park events and lakefront outings. Closer to home, the South Loop Luxury properties all feature beautiful outdoor amenities where you can enjoy the warm weather months. Both Adler Place and Harbor View offer a rooftop pool and sun deck equipped with cabanas and elevated views, offering the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon.


At Adler Place, residents can lounge by the pool and take in some of the best views in the city of the Chicago skyline – and also get a birds-eye view of neighboring Soldier Field – from the building’s 32nd-floor sun deck. Meanwhile, over at Harbor View, the pool and sun deck offer panoramic vistas of Lake Michigan and Burnham Harbor, perfect for watching summer boating activity on the lake. And isn’t that what summer is all about?

Explore the residences that define South Loop Luxury. 
For more information, open houses are on Sunday from Noon-4 PM at Adler Place. Please call us at 312-662-1900 to schedule a private showing.

Learn more at Relatedsouthloop.com.

Mac Kelly's Greens n' Things to Replace Homemade Pizza Co. at 1347 S. Michigan

A reader writes:
I saw this posted on the doors of Homemade Pizza space - the menu looks pretty good and affordable. Hope they will open soon.
Mac Kelly's Greens n' Things has a couple other locations around the loop and while we've never eaten at one, we have been intrigued.

The menu is pretty affordable and it has some pretty positive reviews from Yelp and TripAdvisor.

If the South Loop location is a similar concept as the others (which we assume it would be) it definitely fills in a nice niche for the neighborhood.  There are a decent amount of sit down restaurants, but this will serve those of us who are in a rush, don't want to cook, but would like a quick meal.

We also found some pictures of their other locations to give you a peak at what it looks like inside:
Salad Bar at Jackson location (via Yelp)
Fruit selection at Jackson location (via Yelp)
Just last week we posted a rumor that a vegetarian restaurant might be opening up in this space.  Well I guess this could count as a vegetarian option, but doubt it's the same thing.  As a reminder, Homemade Pizza Co. closed their doors back in June as their entire business (all locations) were closed.

Seems like a good addition to us.  Does anyone else have strong feeling one way or another?

(Hat tip: MK, VC, RK!)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Chop Coming to Roosevelt Collection; Not Porkchop

This make a lot more sense - Crain's recently reported that Chop will be coming to Roosevelt Collection - not Porkchop:
Jovanis Bouargoub (via Crain's)
Jovanis Bouargoub, owner of Chicago-based Porkchop, will open his latest meat-centric restaurant, Chop, in October.  The 100-seat venue will open in the Roosevelt Collection Mall on the Near South Side.  
Mr. Bouargoub said Chop will share a theme with his three Porkchop locations — an easygoing atmosphere combined with high-quality, gourmet dishes. The food from both brands will incorporate inspirations from France, his homeland.

But unlike the barbecue- and whiskey-centric, Southern-inspired Porkchop, Chop will focus on steaks, burgers and wine. Described as "an everyman's steakhouse," Chop will feature grass-fed, locally sourced burgers and steak dishes, including the classic T-bone and a fried steak.

Sounds promising.

If you may recall we were left scratching our heads when it was announced Porkchop would be opening up in Roosevelt Collection along with another "smaller" Porkchop on Dearborn in Printers Row.  Well the Porkchop on Dearborn opened and now we know that the restaurant at Roosevelt Collection will be called Chop.

We will continue to monitor this as construction begins, but good news on the neighborhood dinning front.

(Hat tip: VM!)