Saturday, August 19, 2017

2017 Air & Water Show Weekend is Upon Us

One of our favorite weekends is upon us - the Chicago Air and Water Show.  While most of the activity centers around North Avenue beach, you can still get a great glimpse of the activities from various spots in the Sloop (one of our favorites is the lakefront between the Planetarium and Shedd).

Anyway, here is some info from Chicago Tribune:
The Blue Angels are back for the 2017 Chicago Air and Water Show on the lakefront Aug. 19 and 20. The team, made up of six blue and gold U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornets, alternates years with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. A familiar cast of military and civilian aircraft will take over the skies over North Avenue Beach. Here is a guide to the show and performers.

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, and Sunday, Aug 20.

Looks like the weather this weekend is going to be great - don't forget to look up this weekend!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center's "Hiplet" Calls Printers Row Home

This is pretty cool and it's in Printers Row (via Great Big Story):

Here is the blurb for the video:
The dancers of the Chicago Multicultural Dance Center plié, pirouette and jeté to their own rhythm in a new form called Hiplet. The dance draws on both the movements of hip-hop and classical ballet technique and is performed on pointe shoes. We caught up with the dance's creator, Homer Hans Bryant, to learn some of the moves, get the story behind its inception and find out what it takes to make it as a Hiplet dancer.
We weren't familiar with the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center, but apparently they're our neighbors!!!!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Glance at "The Post Office" Opening in 2018

A reader snapped some pictures showcasing some of the work happening at the post office:

The first picture looks pretty cool inside and it appears that they're shooting to deliver this space next year.  Interesante...

For more info here is a link we did on the project back in July of 2017.

(Hat tip:  CPM!)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Review of the Playground/Park at 21st and Prairie

A South Loop resident and fellow blogger sent us a link to her in-depth review of the new playground at 21st and Prairie.  Here is a snippet from her write-up (via AlphaKidsShine):
If you have not visited yet, the playground is rich with sensory stimuli for a child. Visual and tactile experiences abound however the space also incorporates extensive vestibular opportunities which will challenge a child's balance and awareness. The floor is a smooth rubber material, likely recycled, however the Chicago Park District website does not list the material of the playground flooring. Regardless, it is a good protective cushion for "falls" and is great for ADA wheelchair accessibility.

There are 3 sides of the playground: 
  • A smaller area for ages 6 month to 2-3 years old with more open space, miniature hills, and a small climbing/slide structure easy for parents to navigate 
  • A more dynamic side for ages 4 and up with rope climbs, tight ropes, monkey bars, an extremely tall slide, a rubber ladder, and climbing/sliding poles 
  • Water area with spouts and towers partitioned off by low rock barriers, which also happen to be fun for kids to climb

A good read and from the sounds of it a good (albeit expensive) addition to the neighborhood!

(Hat tip:  AKS!)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Is Third Time a Charm for Developer Seeking to Buy River City?

A reader just sent a note about a hot topic from last year:
Dear Sloopin, 
I just wanted to update you on your story of the deconversion of River City from 2016. In the last 2 years, Marc Realty has made 2 offers to buy all the condo units in River City in a bulk sale. They failed to gain the necessary percentage (75%) of owners’ votes both times. 
They have now made a third offer to buy the building. Apparently they plan to force us to vote over, and over, and over again until they find the minimum price that will get the requisite number of votes. The whole process has been unfair to owners who don’t wish to sell their homes, and has failed to protect their right to enjoyment of their property. As result of Marc’s repeated attempts, The normal business of the building has been disrupted for two years, and the lives of 450 owners has been put on hold because of the uncertainty of ownership. 
This process is an abuse of a law that was never intended to facilitate hostile takeovers of property by greedy developers who see a chance to cash in on hot neighborhoods. In Florida, this kind of abuse led to a change in their law to require 90% of owners to agree to a bulk sale. Illinois should follow Florida’s lead. 
RC resident owner
There were a lot of comments about a post we did back in January of 2016.  If this readers email is true it sounds devious.

Let us know what you think.

(Hat tip: PO!)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Chicago Born Roller Derby Celebrates 82nd Birthday at Coliseum Park

Seems like we missed a fun and slightly quirky event at Coliseum Park (14th and Wabash) yesterday (via Sun Times):
Roller derby turned 82 on Sunday, and Thomas Schultz got the first slice of cake.

The 8-year-old Joliet native then handed — well, skated — it over to Chicago roller derby legend Mary Lou Palermo.

Both skaters share a love of the Chicago-born sport, known for its bawdy nicknames and rough-and-tumble thrills. Thomas started competing in 2017. Palermo did in 1944.
We don't know much about the sport, but this youtube video seems pretty sweet!

Friday, August 11, 2017

University Center Sold for $201 Million to Blue Vista Capital Management

In case you missed this last week (via Crains):
Three downtown colleges have switched from landlord to tenant after completing the biggest student housing deal ever in Chicago.

A nonprofit formed by the three schools—Columbia College, DePaul University and Roosevelt University—just completed the $201 million sale of University Center, a 1,729-bed building in the South Loop where their students live, according to Cook County property records. The nonprofit sold the 18-story building at 525 S. State St. to a joint venture led by Blue Vista Capital Management, a Chicago-based real estate investment firm that specializes in student housing.

The deal will free up money for the schools to spend on other purposes, though they now will pay rent to Blue Vista. Under the deal, the colleges signed agreements to lease a "vast majority" of the beds in the property for 10 years, said Blue Vista co-founder and CEO Peter Stelian, declining to elaborate. Another local school, Robert Morris University Illinois, has signed a shorter-term master lease for a batch of beds in the building, too.
That's a lot of money - but we guess it's a pretty big building in a pretty prime location.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Phenomenal Fitness Relocating from 1450 S. Michigan to 2001 S. State (Blue Star Apartment Retail Space at Cullerton and State)

A reader writes:
I noticed that there appears to be a gym getting ready to open on the corner of State and Cullerton and was wondering if you have any news on what type of gym this might be and their open date?
We actually just drove by the new apartments and did see a bunch of treadmills in the retail space at at the corner.

We received a separate email from the owners of Phenomenal Fitness and it appears they're moving to this space:
We were at 1450 S. Michigan and we moved to 2001 S. State.
Additionally, it sounds like they're going to be running a trial month promotion in honor of this move.  Reach out to them for more details.

As a reminder, we posted about this apartment conversion back in 2014.

(Hat tip:  VS!)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Poke Burrito Coming Soon to 453 S. Dearborn (Just North of Congress)

It looks like Printers Row (well...just north of Congress...but sure we'll call it that) is getting another Poke restaurant:

A reader also provides this perspective:
If I were opening a new business I'd look what was around and try and open something the neighborhood needed...not exactly what just opened 2 blocks down on the same street! Entrepreneurs take note...Printers Row needs a bakery...not another Poke place, hair salon or burger place.
(Hat tip: TR & MK!)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Gordo's Provides Unique Dessert Option for the Sloop

We've been pretty intrigued about Gordo's (and Hax for that matter) opening on Dearborn in Printer's Row.  On paper both spots provide new options for a neighborhood craving new options.

While the style of service at Hax is the new news for that restaurant (more to come on that in subsequent weeks), the food at Gordo's is the story.

As a reminder, the process at Gordo's is "Pick. Dip. Sprinkle."  If that doesn't make sense, you pick an ice cream bar.  Dip it in some chocolate (dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate).  And sprinkle with a topping (various options exist.

We've been twice now and both experience have been good - but different.  We'll chalk this up to growing pains, but the first time we went they were out of various flavors of ice cream bars.  In their defense it was late in the evening so presumably things were picked over.

The second time was more normal.  We opted to follow "classic bars" that we're outline on the board instead of creating our own.


For our second, we went out on a limb and diverged from the typical ice cream bar format and got the Gordo's Super Sandwich: VANILLA ICE CREAM CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE SANDWICH DIPPED IN MILK CHOCOLATE WITH HEATH BAR CRUNCH

The pictures don't really do justice to these things.  They were very delicious and super decadent (but that might have just been due to our choices).  However, they were beyond messy and frankly had to be eaten with a spoon (especially the cookie).

We're looking forward to trying some of the other options.  One word of advice, sharing might be a good option if you're only looking for a snack.  We had trouble finishing both...

Regardless, good luck to Gordo's.  They're definitely bringing a unique option to the hood.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Himalayan Express Opens at 606 S. Wabash; Mai Tai Also Apparently Opening at 614 S. Wabash

It looks like Himalayan Express is officially open at 606 S. Wabash.  As a reminder we got wind of this back in May.  According to a press release:
Napal natives and co-owners of the Himalayan Restaurant Group, Vivek Kunwar and Kiran Byanjankar, have proven their ability to recreate the authentic flavors and dishes of their homeland. Now the partners will open a third location as a new Indian dining concept and Chicago catering hub in Chicago this week. The restaurant at 606 S. Wabash will offer a unique express menu as well as the full sit- down service currently offered at its locations in Gurnee and Niles, which opened in 2003. 
“There’s a new trend to express dining,” says Kunwar. “Business people who want an authentic Indian meal do not necessarily have the time to sit down for lunch.” The express menu will be the first of this style for the cuisines of the Asian sub-continent of India. 
Express diners will have a choice of five entrees plus rice, sauce and side dishes for $7.69. The main courses include fresh vegetables, paneer, vegetable kofta, chicken and salmon. There will be a choice of four rice varieties, five sauces and five sides. Also available will be a la carte dishes such as Biryani (spiced rice), Momo Steamed and Momo Jhon (soup). Vegetable, chicken and lamb versions of these dishes will be served. “Selections will change periodically based on the preferences of our customers,” adds Kunwar.

Beyond this, it also looks like a new Asian restaurant called Mai Tai is also opening in this building:

This appears to be replacing the old sushi restaurant Tamarind.

(Hat tip: CK & OI!)

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Knot Mural Comes to West Face of New Apartment Building at Balbo and Wabash

DNAinfo has the scoop on some new street art on the west face of the new apartment building at Balbo and Wabash:
The latest mural in the South Loop is "Beacon," a 16-story piece with a knot that ties together themes of the city's diversity and post-Fire rebirth.

The 165-foot-tall mural at 30 E. Balbo Ave. is the work of Jeff Zimmermann, who's other big murals include works at Oak Street Beach and the 606.

Zimmermann, who lives in Humboldt Park, said he finished "Beacon" last week after about a month of work. The ground floors of the mural show jagged shards of color reminiscent of flames, while the big, multi-colored knot on its upper floors represents Chicago's diverse population. When bound together, the people are stronger, Zimmermann said.

"You bring them together with tension and force, they can work together as one whole," Zimmermann said.

The mural at Balbo and Wabash avenues is a new addition to the artsy streetscape of Printers Row, which is known for big murals on vintage loft buildings, especially on Wabash. Zimmermann's is a rare mural on a new apartment building that opened just last year. The painting will be visible to riders on Downtown "L" tracks.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Lollapalooza (Extended) Weekend Kicks-off Today

Love it or hate it, one of the summer's biggest events is upon us - Lollapalooza 2017.  If you're wondering, this is the second year that the annual music fest has extended its format from 3-days to 4-days starting today (Thursday, August 3rd).

While everyone clearly has different tastes in music and it still feels like Saturday's headlining gig for  Chicago Native Chance the Rapper has the most build-up.  Chance's career is still building (and has been documented a little bit on this here blog), but this is likely a major moment for him (although he did win a Grammy this year...).  As a reminder, he has spend some time in Sloop as he went to Jone College Prep!

There is a lot of (digital) ink spilled talking about the festivities, so we're not going to try to provide any new information.  Instead, here are some links that you may find interested if you're going or if you're not:

Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot outlines the most highly anticipated shows for each day at the festival.  We've always trusted his recommendations so if you're looking for some help, we highly encourage you to read the post.

Consequence of Sound ranks every Lolla lineup from worst to best.  FYI - they claim 2008 was the best when Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Nine Inch Nails, Kanye West, Wilco, The Raconteurs, Gnarls Barkely, The Black Keys and many many more graced us with their music talents (that was a hell of a year).

Chicago Tribune has a page dedicated to all you need to know about Lollapalooza - which is pretty helpful in our opinion.

And finally, if you're not going and looking to do something else - Timeout Chicago offers 15 alternatives.  If you're a reader of Sloopin, you probably know all of these...but regardless it's a good reminder.

Have a great Lolla weekend and hopefully it doesn't rain and destroy Grant Park...don't hold your breath on this one.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Former Bear Leads Group of Investors on Purchase of Large, Historic Motor Row Property

Looks like Motor Row is getting some new owners who are betting on a revitalized area (via Crains):
Former Chicago Bears defensive end Israel Idonije has a new target to tackle: a vintage Motor Row building on the Near South Side.

Betting on the emergence of a new entertainment district near McCormick Place, Idonije and a group of investors that includes another former Bears pass rusher, Julius Peppers, have agreed to buy the vacant Hudson Motor building one block west of the convention center for an undisclosed price.

Idonije's group has likely agreed to pay more than the $5.8 million the 1920s-era building sold for in January, when an affiliate of real estate investment firm Echelon Capital bought it as its previous owner was facing foreclosure.

Idonije, who spent most of his 11-year NFL career with the Bears, was tight-lipped on his plans for the 115,000-square-foot former auto showroom at 2222 S. Michigan Ave. but said he envisions "a number of uses for the property" designed for what he expects will become one of the city's trendiest areas.
It's been slow moving down in the Motor Row area, but it does seem like they're getting close to a tipping point.  Anyone have any guesses on if/when the area will turn the corner and truly become the "entertainment district" the city and many other envision?

We've posted about the new Wintrust Arena and some of their recent good news.  Additionally, we just read that DePaul will be hosting Michigan State (a high-profile Men's Basketball team) on Thanksgiving as part of a holiday tournament.  If they continue to draw these types of teams/tournaments it bodes well for the area (via Tribune):
The DePaul men’s basketball team has been invited to participate in the PK80 Invitational tournament, which honors Nike co-founder Phil Knight for his 80th birthday.  
The Blue Demons replace Georgetown in the event and will face Michigan State on Thanksgiving (Nov. 23) in the “Victory” bracket of the tournament. Two eight-team brackets will crown two champions at the Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Ore.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

76-Story One Grant Park Gets Final Permit to Build Vertical

And it looks like One Grant Park is about to get tall (via Curbed):
A skyline-changing South Loop skyscraper has scored a third and final building permit and is clear to rise to its height of 76 occupied stories. Known as One Grant Park, the under-construction tower is perched at the southern edge of its namesake park and is the first of two eye-catching buildings in development from Miami Beach-based Crescent Heights and New York’s Rafael Viñoly Architects. A taller, similarly designed sister tower is planned to the immediate west of the fast-climbing OGP.
Very curious to see how quickly this climbs.  This is a game changer for the Sloop and it sounds like it's planning to open in 2019.  

Monday, July 31, 2017

Prairie District Park Opened Yesterday at Prairie and 21st

A reader writes:
The Prairie District Park opened today (Sunday, July 30th) - located at Prairie and 21st. Great addition to the neighborhood!

(Hat tip:  EH!)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Looks Like Cycmode is Having Their Grand Opening Today!

We just walked by 1333 S. Wabash... DJ is rocking and sign reads:
Cycmode Grand Opening Saturday July 29th 

Seems like that's today.

As a reminder we posted about this back in mid-June with some more info.

Best of luck to them.  If anyone checks out a class let us know what you think.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Bulldog Ale House Apparently Opening Today (For Realz?!?!?)

Well it appears we jumped the gun last Friday, but judging by the picture below, it seems like the opening for Bulldog Ale House is happening today:

If anyone goes, let us know how you like it!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Appears that Consignment Store Lofty Aspirations Closes at 1934 S. Wabash

A reader writes:
Walked by yesterday and there are for lease signs in the Lofty Aspirations window at 1934 S Wabash Ave. Looks like all the merchandise is gone too. Minus one on the counter... :-(
We've updated the business counter.

(Hat tip:  KS!)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

WNBA's Chicago Sky Moving to the Wintrust Arena in the Sloop

Seems like a good move for the city and the Sky (via Crains):
Chicago's WNBA team is coming back to the city.
After an eight-year run playing its home games at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, the Chicago Sky will move to newly built Wintrust Arena next to McCormick Place, beginning with the 2018 season.

The Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority, which owns and operates the new 10,387-seat home of DePaul University basketball, today approved a new five-year contract with the WNBA franchise to play its 17 home games each season at the Near South Side stadium.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Art of Pizza Coming to 727 S. State (Old Toppers Pizza Space)

Looks like we're getting another Pizza Spot:
New South Loop Pizza Place: Art of Pizza: In summary, in the South Loop location (Polk and State) where about one year old Topper's Pizza recently closed, another pizza place named "Art of Pizza" appears to be moving in (see pics).
My initial feeling is that it's ridiculous for another Pizza place to move in given that it is between 2 other pizza restaurants within about a block including popular Lou Malnati's. This is especially true since Topper's Pizza was at the location for about a year and opening that store may have been the "last straw" resulting in Topper's closing. I mentioned this to a friend of mine who initially agreed with me. He asked me the name of the new Pizza place and I said "Art of Pizza". His tune changed dramatically and informed me that "Art of Pizza" has phenomenal inexpensive pizza, had great reviews of their pizza, and the "Art of Pizza" other location on Ashland is a cash cow. Please note my friend is in the "glass" business (fixes broken storefront windows and the like) and knows and has done work for the owner of "Art of Pizza" but is honest and does not have an agenda!!
We echo the readers sentiment.  Seems excessive, but we'll see.  It does look like they have pretty high yelp score.

As a reminder Toppers Pizza closed at this location in February amid the franchise closing up shop.

Any thoughts on this one?

(Hat tip:  NR!)

Monday, July 24, 2017

Pokemon Go Fans Invade Grant Park and Sloop

Sounds like this past Saturday's Pokemon Go event in Grant Park didn't go so well (via Sun Times):
Grant Park was overrun Saturday with thousands of people who came out for Chicago’s Pokemon Go Fest, but technical glitches marred the proceedings, held to celebrate the popular game’s one-year anniversary.
“I know that some of you guys have had trouble getting logged on this morning, and I wanted to let you know that we’re working with the cell companies — AT&T, Sprint, Verizon — trying to get that worked out,” John Hanke, the chief executive officer of Niantic, Inc., which released Pokemon Go in July 2016, told the crowd at the lakefront park.
As a result it sounds like the neighborhood got influx of players:
Because of the problems, organizers allowed players to leave the park and still be able to find the rare Pokemon creatures that were supposed to be available only there. The boundaries were expanded to a two-mile radius that’s now supposed to be in effect through Monday morning. 
After that announcement, some left the park and could be seen wandering around the South Loop, gazing at their phones as they played the game.

Anyone notice this?

Friday, July 21, 2017

Bulldog Ale House Opening Today?

A reader tips us on a potential opening:
I don't know if this will happen but I had emailed Bulldog Ale House to ask when they were opening and this was their reply. Having been by there Tuesday I don't know if they can make it by Friday but that was the goal.
Hi there thanks for reaching out. We are tentatively expecting to open Friday. See you there!
I guess we will see.  Regardless, good to see they're getting close.

If anyone goes to check it out, let us know.

(Hat tip:  PS!)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Render Reveals for Single Family Home (w/ Retail Space) at Dearborn/Polk

Rendering reveal for the single family home structure coming to the northeast corner of Dearborn/Polk in Priners Row (via Curbed):
An empty lot at the northeast corner of Dearborn and Polk in Chicago’s Printer’s Row is the site of a new mixed-use project from owner/architect Chris Talsma. Co-founder of Filoramo Talsma Architects, the designer recently landed a construction permit for a new four-story building containing ground floor commercial space topped by his personal single family residence.

As a reminder we first heard about this on May 30th when a reader sent us an email with this tip.  It appears it's definitely happening.  If you've been to this intersection you can already see the site prepping for the construction.

(Hat tip:  SC!)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Belly Up Smokehouse & Saloon Closed?

Lots of readers sending us some notes:
Called today to try and place a carry out order, no answer. 
Stopped by and they had paper in the windows??
We stopped by and saw the same thing:

As a reminder Belly Up opened in January of 2017 and we were pretty excited!

Anyone have any details on what's going on?  Having to endure major construction next door probably isn't easy on a restaurant.

(Hat tip:  NH, JH, TR, BD!)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

New Kids Reading Room Opens at Harold Washington Library

As someone with a child who has been to the new library we can attest this is good (via Time Out Chicago):
Chicago just made an excellent investment in the future of the city. The Hughes Children’s Library at Harold Washington Library Center just got a massive makeover, making it a 24,000 square foot, 21st-century learner experience center. The South Loop flagship CPL location now boasts a whole host of activities aimed to encourage STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning for children under 13.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Hax & Gordo's Officially Open Today!
Help Us Update our 2017 Business Counter

We have official word from one of the Hax/Gordo's owner that today is the official opening date for both spots (733 S. Dearborn and 729 S. Dearborn respectively):
Gordo's Ice Cream Bar
Hax will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. “We want to create a hang-out space where locals, students, Bears fans, and tourists alike can come together around good food & drink and enjoy each other’s company.” Says Hebson. Hax will also serve coffee, hand-spun shakes, and homemade pies. The Grand Opening party will feature a jazz band, the Willy Blair Trio, $3 Mai Tais, and free homemade pickles. “The pickles are actually free every day.” Says Hebson. “We just leave them out and let people help themselves.”  
Hax sister restaurant, Gordo’s Homemade Ice Cream Bars, located next door with a pass-thru to Hax, will also be open. In addition to customizable ice cream bars, Gordo’s serves homemade churros, expresso, lattes, and homemade desserts.
Now that we have official word of this opening, we've taken the opportunity to go back to our 2017 Business Counter and scrubbed it to ensure it's accurate (to the best of our knowledge).

A variety of doctor offices have opened on Michigan - Weissbluth Pediatrics (1471 S. Michigan),  EZ Dental (1466 S. Michigan) and Brighter Dental of South Loop (1620 S. Michigan).

Readers!  Can you help us out and let us know if we missed something?  Additionally, below is our list of potential businesses - can you help vet to ensure it's accurate?  Are any of these dead (like Blu Dog Stay Play spa)?
• Blu Dog Stay Play Spa (2000 S. Wabash)
• Jamaica Jerk Villa (2216 S. Michigan)
•  Reflexology Foot Parlor (1319 S. Michigan)
• TBD Salon (705 S. Dearborn)
• Pin me up (2411 S. Michigan)
 Natural Girl (1547 S. State)
• Big Shoulders Chicago (1449 S. Michigan)
• Rosebud's Artist's Cafe (1150 S. Wabash)
• The Vault (1325 S. Michigan)
• Bulldog AleHouse (910 S. State)
• World of Beer (250 W. Roosevelt)
• M Vie (TBD)
• Title Boxing (250 W. Roosevelt)
 TBD tattoo Parlor  (2008 S. Prairie)
• TBD Asian Restaurant (1234 S. Michigan)
• Lobo Rey (1307 S. Wabash)
• TBD Ramen Spot (1303 S. Michigan)
• TBD Deli Spot (755 S. Clark)
• Cycmode (1333 S. Wabash)
• TBD Medical Services Business (41 W. Congress)
• Athletico (State & Harrison)
• Himalayan Express (606 S. State)
• Royal Puppies (Cullerton and Wabash)

(Hat tip: AM!)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Curbed Chicago: Renovation of Old Post Office Gets Key New Permit

Every time we've been by the old post office, it seems like there is a lot of stuff going on.  We've probably seen helicopters lifting stuff around the building over a dozen times in the last couple of months.  So good progress is happening!

Apparently the project got some key permits recently as well (via Curbed):
Construction on the ambitious renovation and restoration of Chicago’s long vacant Main Post Office continues in earnest as another big permit signals work on important mechanical and structural systems. According to the permit issued by the city yesterday, workers are cleared to go ahead and build new stairway enclosures while restoring other existing stairways. In addition, important safety systems like fire pumps, standpipe risers, and the electrical systems that support them are cleared for work. The estimated cost of the work approved in this latest permit is $11 million.

I guess we'll take Curbed's word that this is a good sign?

Does anyone have any other news about this project?  Still not sure what is moving in...

Thursday, July 13, 2017

La La Land: Movies in the Park @ Women's Park This Saturday (7/15)

This is a great movie and this will likely be a great event (assuming the weather cooperates) - via PDNA Facebook Page:

Even if you don't like musicals, it's a good move:


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Is Grant Park the Proper Place for the Taste?

The Taste of Chicago recently wrapped up and we recently stumbled upon a strongly worded opinion piece from a South Loop resident about moving the Taste somewhere else (via Chicago Tribune):
I have lived in the South Loop for almost 10 years. During this period, I have seen this community grow and expand at a healthy pace, thus becoming only one of three community areas experiencing significant residential growth in Chicago. This trend continues with several high-rise buildings currently under construction, and others in the planning stages.
Regrettably, infrastructure improvements have not kept pace with the ensuing needs, particularly those having to do with the amelioration and prevention of traffic congestion. On several occasions throughout the year, traffic in the Loop and South Loop has become impassable and impossible.

There is more to the article and we suggest you read it to get the full point of view.  The resident finishes it with:
While I understand the need for the city to hold such events, I find the city’s complete and utter disregard for the impact these have on its residents and commuters quite inexcusable.
For years the city has promoted residential growth in the Loop and the South Loop. This expansion and these recreational events are no longer capable of coexisting as they did when the area was mostly business based. Now, and in the future, there is no longer sufficient space to accommodate both without major disruptions. The city should reassess what it’s doing in this area.
We definitely have felt the pain of increased traffic and congesting due to summer events, so understand the sentiment.  Is 15 days of street closures a little excessive for a 5 day festival?  Probably!

That being said, we also realize that living in the heart of a large, major American city comes with trade-offs (such as increased traffic and congestion due to these types of events).  

This is certainly not a black and white issue, but curious to hear what everyone thinks.  Do you agree with this Sloopin resident?

(Hat tip:  GM!)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Public Meeting for New Community Garden at 2401 S. Federal St.

Community Gardens are a nice thought!  If you agree and want to join one, this public meeting in August might be of interest (via Park No. 540 Facebook Page):

Monday, July 10, 2017

6-8 Year-Old Suspected of Robbing People with Gun in Bronzeville

This is just South of us, but it's so shocking - we had to share.  WTF (via CLTV):
Chicago police issued an alert for its Central District, which includes the Loop and Near South Side, after there were 11 armed robberies there in the month of June.
In the most recent case, around 8 p.m. on June 29, police say a six- to eight-year-old boy with a gun robbed someone.

Most of the robberies happened in broad daylight between 26th and 29th streets on south MLK Blvd., Michigan, and Indiana. Devi Gandhi, who has lived on the border of Bronzeville and the South Loop for the last 10 years, says the crime has progressively gotten worse. It's been so bad lately she has stopped inviting her friends and family to her condo building, she said.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Essex on the Park Gets Permit to Start Building Up!

Looks like Essex on the Park is a go to climb to its full height (via Curbed):
As work progresses on the lower portion of the 56-story Essex on the Park project in the South Loop, the City of Chicago has issued a permit authorizing the upcoming tower to rise to its full anticipated height of 607 feet. Replacing a rather unremarkable parking garage at 808 S. Michigan Avenue, the glassy high-rise broke ground across from Grant Park earlier this Spring. The completed tower will deliver 479 high-end rental apartments, ground floor retail space, and 84 well-concealed parking spaces.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Wintrust Arena Nearing Completion - Time to Get Blue Demon Season Tickets?

Love it or hate it, college basketball is coming to the Sloop.  If you're a fan, you may be interested in securing some tickets (via DePaul):
The Blue Demons are ramping up ticket sales with season tickets going on sale to the general public Wednesday. 
Season ticketholders can save as much as 50 percent over purchasing single-game tickets. Season ticket packages start as low as $10 a game which comes to $170 for 17 home games in the upper level of the new Wintrust Arena where the sightlines are remarkable. Lower level season-ticket packages start at $20 a game. 
For information on purchasing tickets, contact the DePaul ticket office at (773) 325-7526 or visit the DePaul Online Ticket Office
“We are trending in the right direction and selling new accounts every day,” said DePaul ticket director Marty Murphy. “We’re getting a great response from our new neighbors and friends in the South Loop.

The new Wintrust Arena looks pretty sweet - we definitely hope to make it to some games (or events).

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Pure Barre Opens at 1336 S. Michigan

A reader writes:
After months of delays the Pure Barre on Michigan just north of Gioridanos opened Saturday July 1 and is offering free classes until July 5. I haven't taken class yet but the studio seems very nice as does the staff.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Sloopin Open House: 4 Bedrooms by New South Loop School

Families looking for space, this open house may be for you - a 4 bedroom townhouse at 49 W. 15th st Unit B.  It's listed at $899K so ain't cheap and frankly is rather unremarkable...but it's got space and it's close to the proposed South Loop school - which is probably a selling point we would assume: