Monday, June 26, 2017

Activity at Old Ameritalia Space - Could it be Kai Sushi Peeps?

A reader writes:
Any rumblings about what’s happening with the former Ameritalia space? I haven’t been able to grab a photo, but it’s a beautifully renovated, full restaurant space now. We’ve seen who we think are some of the management from Kai Sushi going in and out, but aren’t 100% sure. Either way, lots of activity!
As a reminder, Ameritalia closed back in February of this year.  There have been some rumblings of a new spot coming, but we haven't heard much since the note above.

Any intel?

(Hat tip: MB and MEK!)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Sloopin Open House: Timber Loft with Big Windows

This week we head towards the south side of the Sloop and find a high ceiling timber loft with huge living room windows - 2303 S. Michigan (ave. #210):

The unit is listed at $235K and is a 1bd/1bth - and doesn't include parking (that will be another $30K).  It looks like a pretty hip unit, but does seem kinda high upon further consideration.

That being said, it looks pretty cool.  If you need to or want to go to Motor Row this weekend this open house is on Sunday (6/23) from 11-12:30pm.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Blackie's (Polk/Clark) Closes - New Deli Spot Taking Over?

We've had a couple different readers send us notes about Blackies:
Blackies on Polk and Clark has been sold and is currently closed for remodeling. The new owners are the owners of Jefferson Tap in river north. They are planning a Jewish style food and deli\restaurant. Though Blackies had solid consistent food, it seems they couldn't keep up with the changing neighborhood.

Another writes:
It appears Blackies on Clark st has closed! I walked by there and they appeared to be having a goodbye meeting to all the staff there. I overheard someone saying there's a change of ownership and it looks like something new is going in there. 
Have you guys heard anything about it? 
Very sad to see since it's been a staple of a restaurant for several decades and in my neighborhood!

In our opinion, it's probably good to see some evolution here.  While Blackies was fine, it seemed to get overshadowed by the other options popping up in the Sloop.  We'll be curious to see if it's true about the deli concept.

Is there room for Manny's, Eleven City Diner and another deli spot?  Maybe we will see.  


(Hat tip: SC & NP!)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Timothy's Hutch Opens in Lobby of Blackstone Hotel (636 S. Michigan)


This is funny.  We actually just had a great meal at Mercat a la Planxa (more to come at a later date) and walked through the lobby of the Blackstone and was taken aback by the scene.  Makes sense now (via Eater Chicago):
The 107-year-old Blackstone Hotel is banking on attracting more guests to the South Loop by opening a lobby lounge that specializes in craft cocktails. Timothy’s Hutch opens today, part of a multi-million dollar renovation for the hotel which Marriott recently brought into its Autograph Collection imprint. The lounge, in the hotel’s lobby, serves 1960s-style cocktails and small bites.
It was pretty cool.  However, it didn't seem like there was a "waiter/bartender".  Maybe we just didn't see them.

I actually thought to myself "If you're a guess at the hotel, do you just have access to this bar to make your own drink?"

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Former D'Jons Barbershop Retail Space Sold - Is Something Moving In?

A reader writes:
While walking my dog this morning, I noticed the "for sale" sign in the window of the former D'Jons Barbershop location (1514 S. Wabash Ave.) had been removed. I googled it later, and sure enough - the space was sold on May 23rd:   
https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/il/chicago/1514-south-wabash-avenue/pid_14795481/ 
http://www.koenigrubloff.com/commercial-for-sale/1514-S-Wabash-Avenue-Chicago-IL-60605-188823324  

No details on who purchased it or what might be going into the space.

As a reminder back in April we posted about D'Jons barbershop moving down South.  Does anyone have any knowledge of what may be moving in?  Or is this just a real estate transaction and a new tenant hasn't been identified?

(Hat tip:  JD!)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Futuristic Cycling Studio Cycmode Opening at 1333 S. Wabash in July?


If you recall we posted about a new cycling studio opening at the new retail space at 1333 S. Wabash.

Well a reader sent us the following email that provides a more detailed look at what this appears to be:
I remember a while back you had posted about a permit for a cycling studio at 1333 (or 1335?) S Wabash. Looks like there's some more information about it. (Opening July 22nd) 
This looks like the official studio page: https://www.instagram.com/cycmode/ 
And this is a little bit more about the type of workout: https://www.instagram.com/thetrip.immersivefitness/https://www.lesmills.com/immersive-fitness/

Looks pretty interesting.

(Hat tip:  AS!)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Sloopin Open House: Who Wants a Townhouse with a Grass

We've toured units within this townhouse complex at 1315 S. Plymouth Ct and legitimately liked it.  This specific unit is listed at $465K and is a 2bd/1.5bth.  It's a unique space and for whatever reason the half moon windows speak to us:

Outside of that the unit is pretty basic, but it has a front-yard and some grass - YES GRASS:

If this looks interesting go check it out on Sunday from 1-3pm.  The address is 1315 S. Plymouth Ct unit B.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Former Taco Bell Space at 41 W. Congress Becoming Medical Services Office?


A reader writes:
I love your blog and thought you might be interested in this story. I noticed work started recently at the long-vacant building on the corner of Plymouth & Congress (41 W Congress - formerly a Taco Bell / Subway) and found this building permit online: 
INTERIOR BUILD OUT OF LOWER LEVEL AND FIRST FLOOR FOR MEDICAL SERVICES OFFICE WITHIN EXISTING 3-STORY MASONRY BUILDING. BUILD OUT INCLUDES 4 TOILET ROOMS, 4 EXAM ROOMS, 3 ULTRASOUND ROOMS, 4 PROCEDURE ROOMS, BUSINESS OFFICE AND 1 BREAK ROOM PER PLANS.
While it doesn't sound like the sexiest thing in the world, the building has been sitting vacant and I guess something is better than nothing (I know some people will disagree with this mentality, I understand)?

Anyone know anything about this?

(Hat tip:  CW!)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Police "Beefing Up" Patrols After Rash of Robberies Targeting Bike Riders

Again...WTF (abc7):
Chicago police are beefing up patrols in the South Loop neighborhood after seven robberies in the last 10 days, the latest of which was Tuesday morning of woman riding a bike.

Just before 10 a.m. Tuesday, a man in a red jeep pulled alongside a 38-year-old woman on a bike near Cullerton and Indiana. He reached out from the moving car, grabbed her shoulder bag and sped off.

Most of the robberies have targeted people on bikes, and most of the victims have been women. Chicago police issued a community alert warning residents. And many are taking notice.

On Sunday, two men robbed a 14-year-old girl on a bike around 8:40 p.m. near East 16th Street and South Indiana Avenue. One man got out of the passenger seat of a car to rob her, then got back in and rode away, police said. The girl suffered a few minor injuries.

Investigators only have vague descriptions of the suspects and vehicles involved and there appears to be several. But generally the offenders stop a cyclist with their car, sometimes knocking them over. In at least one case, they dragged her a short distance. Then, they grab a purse or bag and take off.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Looks Like One Grant Park is Going Vertical!


After starting underground foundation work back in January, Chicago’s upcoming One Grant Park tower is starting to rise above street level at the corner of Indiana and Roosevelt. Keeping pace with construction, the City of Chicago just granted the high-rise project another partial building permit estimated at $64 million. Crews are now authorized to continue structural work up through the building’s eighth level.
Ultimately expected to rise 76 stories and in excess of 800 feet, the Rafael Viñoly-designed skyscraper is a modern day homage to the Chicago School of structural expressionism with “bundled tube” layout similar to that of the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower. When completed, One Grant Park will be the South Loop’s tallest structure—or at least until developer Crescent Heights tops-off an even taller twin tower planned for the site to the immediate west.

Looking forward to seeing this one climb!

Monday, June 12, 2017

In Case You Missed it...A Lit Fest Recap

In case you missed this past weekends Lit Fest (via Chicago Tribune):
Consuming literature is a lonely endeavor. Unless you're reading out loud, sitting down with a novel is an intimate experience between you and your pages. But it doesn't have to be.

A lover of books also loves to talk about favorite authors and works, which is where Printers Row Lit Fest steps into its role. The outdoor festival held Saturday and Sunday provides a space for bibliophiles to come together to create a community accepting of any and all kinds of literature.

John Glover, owner of Glover's Bookery, says there's a value in sharing what you enjoy. "People that talk books are either really interesting or really weird, but I enjoy learning what everyone else likes," the bookdealer said. Glover has trekked to Chicago from Lexington, Ky., for Lit Fest every year since 1986 to sell rare, used and out-of-print literature.

In the tents that line the middle of Printers Row in the Loop, you can often catch parts of conversations on why Thoreau is a great writer, or how unbelievably cheap an antique Twain hardcover was.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Sloopin Open House:
2bd/2bth Printers Row Loft Overlooking Lit Fest Festivities

In honor of Printers Row Lit Fest, we're highlighting a loft on Dearborn (727 S. Dearborn Unit 212) that would allow you to overlook the fest.  The open house is today (6/10) from 1-3pm - so go to the fest and check out this unit.

You know we're a fan of these old buildings and the character they offer and this specific unit meets that test.  It's a 2bd/2bth and is listed at $465K.  Not cheap, but it's a unique, open space:



The listing provides some insight into the unit:
At last. A REAL loft in the Donohue Building where the first loft living began in Chicago in the 1970's. 14 ft concrete ceilings, concrete columns & floors, brick walls, huge west windows flooded with sunshine overlooking the fabled Dearborn Station/Printer's Row neighborhood

Friday, June 9, 2017

Looks Like Official Opening of Hax Isn't Until 7/17

Lots of excitement about Hax (and Gordo's) impending opening.  Looks like some of the early speculation of them opening this week was a little premature.  That being said, we imagine they may be "open" this weekend during Lit Fest - seems like a good way to get some attention to their new concept.

Anyway, a reader stopped by on a recent day and sent us the following:
Today was a soft/test launch for Hax...Offering free food and drinks off a limited menu for honest feedback.  
Signs say Grand Opening set for 7-17-17


(Hat tip:  JC!)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

CPS Floats Idea to Turn National Teacher's Academy (55 W. Cermak) into High School to Serve Sloop

Lots of coverage and news coming out of Tuesday night's CPS community meeting regarding schooling in the Sloop and surrounding neighborhoods.  Race and affluence is a key issue being raised (via WBEZ):
Chicago Public Schools proposes converting National Teachers Academy, an elementary school at the southern end of the South Loop, into a high school. This move satisfies the desires of new, wealthier residents in the area who want a high school. But parents of students at NTA, who are mostly black and low-income, don’t want to lose their school and say they are being ignored.

CPS Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson defends this plan, saying it was devised to create more integrated schools and not to exclude the area’s longtime, mostly black, low-income residents. The plan includes moving NTA students to South Loop elementary, which is getting a new building.

“You see a community that welcomes diversity, that has welcomed the idea of merging the two schools [NTA and South Loop], despite some of the socioeconomic and racial differences that exist,” Jackson told WBEZ. “So I think that they are actually a model community for that kind of diversity.”

While that may be spin from the CPS CEO, it's a nice sentiment and something that we agree is a unique quality about the Sloop - it's diversity.  Should be interesting to see how this plays out.

That being said, a high school that adequately serve the neighborhood is sorely needed, so it seems like this is a good development.  We've heard from many people and many families that feel schooling options are limited and thus feel the need to leave the area and the city.  We applaud the city and CPS for at least trying to offer an adequate solution.

Anyway, here are some of the links if you'd like to read further.  For our money the Tribune's is the best and easiest to follow:

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

It's Here! The 2017 Printers Row Lit Fest - This Sat (6/10) and Sun (6/11)


It's one of our favorite festivals in Chicago and that's not just because it's in our backyard.  Printers Row Lit Fest is unique and this year looks to have a great lineup (via Tribune):
About 200 authors and presenters will gather June 10 and 11 in the historic Printers Row neighborhood in Chicago's South Loop. The lineup promises to enlighten and entertain with headliners such as U.S. Sen. Al Franken, author of "Al Franken, Giant of the Senate," and NBA All-Star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, author of "Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court."

The festival will kick off with Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. poet laureate Rita Dove. She will receive the 2017 Harold Washington Literary Award. More Pulitzer winners — two from 2017 — will appear elsewhere during the fest. Heather Ann Thompson, who was recognized for her narrative history book "Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy," will speak on mass incarceration. The Chicago Tribune's own E. Jason Wambsgans, who received the Pulitzer for feature photography, will discuss his photographs portraying a family's struggle after a 10-year-old Chicago boy survived a shooting.

It's a great event - see you there!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Woman Punched and Robbed Sunday Afternoon


WTF (via ABC7):
A woman was punched and robbed Sunday afternoon in the city's South Loop neighborhood, police said.
The woman was on a bike near 21st and Calumet when a man jumped out of a silver car, punching her in the face and stealing her purse.

A witness said the woman was headed to McCormick Place for a convention on a Divvy bike.

Monday, June 5, 2017

City Chooses Developer for Vacant Michael Reese Hospital Campus

When the city bought the former Michael Reese campus we were curious (and excited) to see what would transpire.  Would we win the Olympics and would this site become a legacy project for the city?  We all know the answer was no.

That being said, there were a ton of discussions about what the land may become.

Well according to Crain's and Curbed Chicago, a plan is in place and it's pretty practical:

 
The latest plan would encompass both the 49-acre Michael Reese site plus air rights over the 28-acre truck marshalling yards controlled by Chicago’s Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority. Initial phases of the lakefront redevelopment could include a logistics center servicing McCormick Place as well as a new event space. Longer-term plans would feature "more than 5 million square feet of technology-oriented commercial spaces, retail uses, homes and a hotel, depending on market demand," read a statement from the City of Chicago.

I guess it's good something is coming to the space, but seems relatively blah.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Greg Kot's Top 10 Concerts to See This Summer - 3 in the Sloop

Summer in the city usually means a plethora of concert options.  Yes, Lollapalooza is the biggest event in our hood, but Greg Kot - the venerable Tribune music writer - lists his top 10 for the summer (presumably outside of Lolla).

Three of these are in the Sloop:
GorillazDamon Albarn has put together his virtual band with human stand-ins for cartoon characters Murdoc, 2D, Russel and Noodle. His recent guest-laden album, "Humanz," includes cameos by Chicago greats Mavis Staples and Jamie Principle, so who knows who might show up on stage? 7:30 p.m. July 8 at Huntington Pavilion, Northerly Island, $142-$882; www.livenation.com


Nick CaveThe singer is a rocker who happens to be a poet. In concert, he suggests a fallen preacher, an assassin, a rogue or a romantic, sometimes all in the same song. He's coming off one of his best albums, the 2016 "Skeleton Tree," and his shows with the Bad Seeds are must-sees. 8 p.m. June 16 at the Auditorium Theatre, $49.50-$99.50; my.auditoriumtheatre.org
U2In which the Irish quartet joins the parade of major artists celebrating past triumphs by playing its 1987 album "The Joshua Tree" in its entirety. As usual, expect spectacular visuals and a game attempt to put it all into contemporary context. 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Soldier Field, 1410 Museum Campus Drive, $70-$134; www.ticketmaster.com

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Booze Cruise Brings Drunks to River City?

Yay for Summer!  Not yay for drunks...

A reader writes:
I contacted Alderman Solis about this, but I wanted to reach out to you as a resident of the Sloop (Wells/Polk) to express my displeasure with yet ANOTHER season of weekend drunks pouring themselves off of The Summer of George booze cruise boat that docks at River City each weekend.

This weekend, when the boat unloaded on Saturday, as per usual, the hordes of drunks filled the parking lot just south of River City, blocking the road. These people were yelling at my husband and I in our car as we attempted to drive into the parking lot. They scattered into the street, blocking traffic and being belligerent and disrespectful to the neighborhood.

Thing is, this has grown in nuisance levels over the past three years. We've had to call the cops a couple of times when fights have broken out amongst the drunk young people and this weekend I witnessed a girl relieving herself between parked cars on Wells. The 2nd time I've witnessed Summer of George drunks peeing in public and it is just the start of the summer "drunk season".

I just wanted to let you know what is going on - this is a nuisance to me and my neighbors and I am hoping the Alderman responds.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Retail Complex at NE Corner of Jefferson/Taylor Apparently Dead

A reader writes:
Looks like the South Loop retail complex at Jefferson/Taylor that had previously received approval to break ground will not be coming to fruition. For sale signs just popped up on the existing structure late last week.
As a reminder, we posted about this potential development back in 2016 but it hasn't had any movement - clearly.



(Hat tip:  ZP!)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Hax Opening This Week? Building Going in Parking Lot Next to it?

A lot of readers have sent us updates stating that the new Hax and Gordo's was getting closer to opening.

However, one reader gave us this juicy tip about Hax's opening date and a potential new development next door:
My husband and I were in Edgewater yesterday and we saw a place called Gordo’s. It had the same signage as the Gordo’s in the Sloop and it was right next to a Flaco’s. We stopped in and talked to the owner(?). He said they just opened that one about a week ago in Edgewater. They make the ice cream bars in the basement of the South Loop Gordo’s. He said they plan to open Hax before the Lit Fest and open Gordo’s there shortly thereafter. The interesting thing was he said that the owners of the parking lot just to the south of them, will soon be breaking ground and building a space with retail on the street level and their own personal residence above it. He said they (Hax) had just put in a window facing the parking lot when they found this out so now the window will of course be covered up.  
We didn’t have one, but the Gordo’s ice cream bars looked delicious!

While you may question the validity of the parking lot story, it appears it may be true as another reader sent us this image:

This should be interesting...anyone know anything else about this?

It sounds a lot like the private residence on top of Starbucks at Harrison and Dearborn (old link for those not familiar with it).

(Hat tip:  KG, GM, OI!)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Sloopin Open House:
Duplex with Killer Northern Views of the City


Wow look at those and windows and look at that view - what can we say...pretty sweet!

If you like this, it's going to cost you a pretty penny - $700K not including parking.

This unit is a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom, 2,000+ square foot beaut located at 1530 S. State (unit #1005).  It's a loft style unit and it doesn't appear that any of the bedrooms have full walls.  Some people don't like that, some people do.

Anyway, if you want to checkout this sweet view head on over Saturday, May 27th from noon to 2pm.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Poke & Roll Quickly Opens at 555 S. Dearborn

A reader writes:
Official opening today hours 11-7pm

As a reminder, we just posted about this back on May 15th.  That was a pretty fast opening...

Anyway, we're pretty excited to check this one out.  Has anyone gone?  Let us know your thoughts.

(Hat tip:  PS!)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

CPS Acknowledges Possibility of Converting National Teachers Academy Into High School

A potential new development in the South Loop schooling discussion (via DNAinfo):
National Teachers Academy could be converted to a neighborhood high school once the new South Loop Elementary School is built nearby, top CPS officials said Tuesday. 
Forrest Claypool and Janice Jackson, respectively the chief executive and education officers at Chicago Public Schools, announced a series of community hearings this summer regarding the future of the academy at 55 W. Cermak Road in a letter to parents. 
While reiterating CPS' stance to "strengthen" the academy "so that it continues to effectively serve the community," Claypool and Jackson wrote that some have suggested the academy be converted to a new neighborhood high school serving the South Loop as well as parts of Bridgeport, Bronzeville and Chinatown once the new South Loop Elementary School opens in 2019 a few blocks away at 1601 S. Dearborn St.

As far as we're aware, this is the first time CPS has acknowledged the possibility.  Everything else has been rumors floating around.

While we know many people have voiced concerns regarding what the new South Loop Elementary School would mean to National Teachers Academy, there is also major concerns about the lack of public high school options for families in the Sloop.

What do you think?

(Hat tip:  PB!)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Athletico Moving into Corner Retail Space at State/Harrison

Looks like Athletico is moving in at the corner of State and Harrison

(Hat tip:  VC!)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Plan Progressing for Redevelopment of Old Harold Ickes Homes


In case you missed this a couple weeks back - we did (via Curbed Chicago):
The long-discussed redevelopment of Chicago’s former Harold L. Ickes Homes public housing project has officially started the process of navigating the city’s approval process. An ordinance to rezone the vacant 11.3-acre parcel owned by the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) at the border of the South Loop and Bronzeville neighborhoods was filed a few week back. While the plan must still pass the Plan Commission and City Council to take effect, the 123-page document provides insight regarding Ickes’ future.

According to the plan, the area bounded by State Street, Federal Avenue, Cermak, and 25th Street will see its patchwork of zoning designations changed to a uniform DX-3 Downtown Mixed Use classification and incorporated into a Planned Development (PD). The parcel will be divided into five distinct subareas to be redeveloped in three phases over the coming years.

While previous reports mentioned a total of 887 residential dwellings, the allowable unit count has since grown to 972 to spread across a mix of townhomes, six-flats, and a high-rise at the southwest corner of Cermak and State. The transit-oriented plan also calls for 75,000 square feet of retail, dedicated open space, and at least 270 on-site parking spaces.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Who Needs Space? Checkout this Open House:
3,200 Square Feet Townhouse in Dearborn Park One

Sponsored Post



We highlighted this open house a couple weeks back, but apparently that was a private open house - oops!  Anyway, we're calling it out again - this time for the public open house at 945 S. Park Terrace on Sunday (5/21) from 11-1pm.

When we initially called this one out, what caught our eye was the space.  It's pretty rare that you see a 3,200 square feet townhouses north of Roosevelt in the Sloop.  Actually - we don't know this for a fact - but we imagine you would be hard pressed to find another one that big (that's a challenge for someone to research).


Anyway, the stats on this guy are pretty impressive: 4 bedrooms 3.5 baths, 2 car parking & additional guest parking included:

  • Main level has entry foyer, large kitchen, massive living room & dining room over looking professionally landscaped patio with bonus room that can be studio, garden shed or storage.
  • Second level has skylights, 4 bedrooms, 2 master suites, 3 full baths, walk-in closets, family room (could be 5th bedroom).

Sure, it could use some TLC and potentially some updating (depending on your tastes) - but again - this is a pretty

Check This Out Tomorrow (5/20): South Side Craft Beer Fest!

This looks life fun:

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Lobo Bravo is the New Name for the Scout Concept for the Old Zapatista Space

Looks like the the new restaurant coming to the old Zapatista has a name (via GSLA facebook page):

Lobo Bravo - has a nice ring!

As a reminder, back in March a perceptive reader scooped us on some activity at the former Zapatista spot.  Sure enough, they were right.  

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Jimmy Green's Closes After 7-Year Run at 825 S. State

In case you missed it last week - Jimmy Green's (825 S. State) is closed according to their Facebook page:
Well you heard it here first. Jimmy Green's is saying thank you & goodbye this Saturday night – May 13, 2017. It has been an honor to be part of this truly vital neighborhood. We have welcomed dozens of sports greats including most of the '85 Bears, Bobby Hull plus Blackhawks, White Sox, Cubs, Bulls and Bears stars from yesterday and today. But mostly we've had the honor of serving thousands of our neighbors. We will never forget what we created here and we never forget the friends we made in the name of Jimmy Green's. Join us 'til closing Saturday night, May 13, 2017

Well, this isn't great news, but in our opinion it's not terrible.  We've had some mixed experiences at Jimmy Green's and in our opinion is definitely in the lower tier of options for bars/restaurants in the Sloop.

With Bulldog Ale House moving in just down the street, our guess is that the neighborhood won't really miss Jimmy Green's.  That being said, it will be interesting to see what might move in here.  Hopefully something good.

As a reminder, Jimmy Green's opened their doors back in 2010.

(Hat tip:  LM, KJ, A, SS, MC!)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Related Midwest Talks About Grand Vision for 62-Acres South of Roosevelt

We poked some fun at Related Midwest's event to clean up their 62-acre vacant lot last week, but there was some real news coming out of this story.  The Chicago Tribune outlines grand vision for what Related hopes to do with this land:
A year after grabbing control of the largest undeveloped site in downtown Chicago, Related Midwest is thinking big while taking it slow.

Over the next two decades, the developer envisions creating a city within the city on the 62-acre parcel along the Chicago River, south of Roosevelt Road, that eventually will link the South Loop and Chinatown. It is one of the most ambitious developments ever conceived in Chicago.

More than 10 million square feet of residential, office, hotel and retail space could rise on the site, a project likely to cost at least $5 billion — and potentially much more — completed in several phases, Related Midwest President Curt Bailey said.

The west side of the site is likely to include a 100-foot-wide, half-mile-long riverwalk flanked by a row of low-slung restaurants and shops. Also envisioned are public art installations, cultural events and, perhaps, infrastructure including new CTA Red Line and Metra train stations.
While everyone is salivating on what might come, the reality is the entire vision is likely a long ways away.  The project likely won't start until 2019 and it sounds like it could take at least 15 years to fully realize the plans.

There is a lot to read in the article and we highly recommend going over to the Tribune to learn more.

An interesting piece to us was this blurb about what they want to do with the land until it's ready to build:
By next year, when construction of a Wells Street extension from downtown to Chinatown is expected to begin cutting through the site, the developer hopes to bring pop-up food and retail or other events to the site, Bailey said. One idea is to create a variation of London's Pop Brixton shipping container village.

Image from Pop Brixton
"We want to do (the development) right, so we're taking our time planning it," Bailey said. "We're working on creating fun things to do on the site in the interim. Getting people to the site, getting people to understand the site and creating action here is part of our overall plan."
We're not familiar with London's Pop Brixton, but according to their website:
Pop Brixton is a temporary project that has turned disused land into a creative space for local, independent businesses. Come and discover South London’s most exciting start-ups working in food, retail, design and social enterprise.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Poke & Role Restaurant Coming to Printer's Row

A reader sends us an email and this picture:
Poke & Roll in old Porkchop space! VERY exciting for printers row!!!


This looks promising.  This restaurant will take over the recently vacated Porkchop (555 S. Dearborn).

The Poke bowl trend is pretty hot right now and hopefully this new spot lives up to the hype.  We've written about Asian Outposts Poke Bowls, but outside of that, we aren't aware of any other places serving the dish (although we imagine there are quite a few in Chinatown).

If you're not familiar we have a link from Thrillist San Francisco providing details on the trend:
Poke (pronounced “POH-keh”) is a classic Hawaiian appetizer that features sliced and marinated raw fish, served with a wide variety of accompaniments.
Yes, that is possibly the vaguest definition ever, but considering “poke” is just a Hawaiian word meaning “to section, slice, or cut,” it makes sense that there are so many variations (you can get octopus, clam, or salmon poke). Still, if you’re eating this traditional raw-fish salad in Hawaii, you’ll most commonly find it made with yellowfin or bigeye tuna that’s been marinated in soy and sesame.

Poke is popular in Hawaii -- like, so popular that people refer to it as Hawaii’s hamburger. But the origin of poke actually dates back to the arrival of the first Hawaiians on the island chain, who cut up whatever fresh fish they caught that day and mixed it with salt and seaweed collected from the ocean. Although the dish has been around a very long time, the name “poke” didn’t become ubiquitous until the 1960s, and it wasn’t until the ‘70s that recipes for poke started appearing in cookbooks.
While we couldn't find a website for Poke & Roll, one would expect it to also sell Sushi Rolls.

Between this and the new Hax/Gordo's concept Printer's Row appears to have some solid new options.

(Hat tip:  JH!)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Sloopin Open House: 4-Story Townhouse on a Park

Last week we looked at a townhouse in Dearborn Park 1 and today we do again.

This specific one is in the development that is relatively newer and more contemporary then the more stark townhouses in the area.  1170 S. Plymouth Ct #1NE - faces Roosevelt Park, so sort of feels like it has a huge yard (albeit a public yard).  Regardless it's a very unique amenity that most in the area wouldn't have.  The unit is listed at $725K which seems reasonably priced given previous comps.

The unit has 3 beds and 2.5 baths, with a bonus floor on the 4th floor that leads to a beautiful roof deck with a solid view:

Judging by previous sales, these units don't last very long, so if you're in the market for a townhouse we would suggest heading over there quickly.  The open house is today (5/14) from 1-3pm

Friday, May 12, 2017

Help Related Clean Up Their 62-Acre Property in the Sloop

Well this is an interesting event.  Maybe fun...maybe not (via DNAinfo):
The developer who plans a new neighborhood along a massive piece of undeveloped South Loop riverfront invites neighbors to help clean the site up Saturday, hoping food trucks and a DJ will sweeten the offer. 
About 40 employees of Related Midwest will participate in the citywide Chicago River Day from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at 1600 S. Wentworth Ave., or the northeast corner of picturesque Ping Tom Park. A DJ will accompany the cleanup while food trucks from The Fat Shallot and Yum Dum will roll up at 11 a.m. 
Related Midwest took control of the site, a 62-acre property starting just south of Clark Street and Roosevelt Road, last year with plans to build a new Downtown neighborhood. Disgraced developer and political fixer Antoin "Tony" Rezko once received city approval to build as many as 4,500 homes on the site.
At least you'll get some food and be able to listen to a DJ.

(Hat tip:  CHAMPS!)