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!)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Himalayan Express Coming to 606 S. Wabash

A reader sends us the following picture:

Looks like we have a Himalayan Express restaurant coming to the old space that was called Wingers USA at 606 S. Wabash.

This stretch of retail has been hit or miss.  Hopefully this place has better luck.

(Hat tip:  MK!)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

No More Micro-Apartments for Printer's Row?

A reader writes:
No more micro apartments? New sign up at Dearborn:Polk.
Looks to be the case.

For those who aren't familiar, there were some renderings that popped up and proposed "micro-apartments" for this little - but prominent - piece of vacant land.

The design of 742 S. Dearborn from September 2015 (top left), March 2016 (top right),
September 2016 (bottom left), and now (bottom right)
 Myefski Architects/LG/SSP

(Hat tip:  TR!)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Hax and Gordo's Getting Closer to Being Printer's Row Multi-Purpose Hangout

Work continues at the new Hax and Gordo's space on south Dearborn (formerly Hackney's).  We had numerous readers send us emails and pics of their new logos and some pics of the inside through the windows:

We recently walked by and took a glimpse.  We're pretty excited to see what the finished product looks like. 

As you know, the Flaco's Tacos concept and success - which is owned by the Hax and Gordo's crew - is partially responsible for this revamp of Hackney's into Hax.  Judging by the crowd at Flaco's this past Friday evening it's understandable to see why they may want to emulate it.

If all goes according to plans, Hax will be more of a multi-purpose catchall hangout spot for Printers Row and the Sloop (via New City):
It turns out that Hackney’s Printers Row was closing to make way for a new version of the old business, to be called Hax. Back in 2008, the owners Jim and Ed Hebson and their cousin Jim Masterson, had been inspired by some of the Mexican Americans on the Hackney’s staff and opened the fast-casual Flaco’s Tacos a couple doors down. It was a rapid success, encouraging them to open more locations on the North Side. It was also a harbinger of the future for the owners. Though Hackney’s remained modestly successful, “We’d watch the college kids stream by our door on the way to Flaco’s,” Jim Hebson recalls. Cheered by the relative profitability of the less-labor-intensive concept and challenges to the same at Hackney’s as it faced increasing neighborhood competition, they made the radical decision to reboot.  
Jim Hebson gave me a tour of the new venue, which is slated to open in mid-May. Like Flaco’s, customers will order at a counter, where they’ll find a streamlined menu featuring the legendary burgers on homemade buns (including their signature rye), along with turkey burgers, veggie burgers and other sandwiches, a slimmed-down onion loaf and homemade pies. They’ll also be able to partake of a curated selection of ten local beers on tap, as well as a signature frozen drink. But Hax is also planned to be more of a hangout than Flaco’s, filling in the coffeehouse vibe vacated when the long-running Gourmand closed across the street a few years back. Coffee and breakfast will be served, and seating includes couches and booths. “We want people to hang out all day here, working on their laptops,” Hebson says.  
Entirely new will be the adjacent space, recently annexed, that will house Gordo’s, which will offer homemade ice cream sandwiches with a variety of mix-ins.
If you have time, head on over to New City - the article is a great read.

In the meantime, get excited for Hax and Gordo's - it has the potential to be an amazing addition to the hood.

(Hat tip:  VC!)  

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Sloopin Open House: $1.1 Million Double Townhouse

What does a $1.1 million townhouse look like north of Roosevelt?  Apparently this:

While some may squack at how Dearborn Park I (and II for that matter) break up the city's grid, for those who live there it's an amazingly quaint setting in the middle of the city.

This specific unit looks to be two townhouses combined, but we're not sure.  It has 4 bedrooms / 3.5 bathrooms and has a spacey 3,200 square feet listed on the spec sheet.  While nothing stands out as amazing about this unit, the wow factor comes in the sheer amount of space.

If you're curious (we are) head on over to this open house at 945 S. Park Terrace Unit 507-508 on Sunday, May 7th from 11-1pm.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Looks Like Cycling Business Coming to 1333 S. Wabash High-Rise

A reader writes:
I noticed last night a work permit (see photo attached) for a cycling studio at 1333 S. Wabash. Thought you would have an interest. 

We were curious what might come in at this new building.  Glad to see something is moving in rather than it sitting vacant.

Thoughts?  Seems differentiated from other offerings in the neighborhood.

(Hat tip:  RH!)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Man May Have Tried to Abduct 7 Year-Old at Mariano's

A scary situation (via DNAinfo):
A Bronzeville woman said a man might have tried to abduct her 7-year-old son while shopping last week at the South Loop Mariano's. 
Jai Ivester was at the grocery store at 1615 S. Clark St. on April 24 like she often is after picking up her children at Daystar School nearby. 
Ivester was trying to get her kids to mosey past the store's gelato counter that afternoon when a man grabbed her son from behind and whispered something unintelligible in his ear. The man fled after the boy pulled away.
Be aware...very scary stuff.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Columbia College Showcases Glassy Student Center for Wabash/8th

Pretty cool announcement and addition for Columbia College (via Curbed):
Chicago’s Columbia College, a higher education institution which focuses on art and media, has announced that it plans to erect a new five-story, 114,000 square-foot student center for its South Loop campus. The upcoming student center will be the first such facility in the institution’s 127-year history, Columbia College claims. In an announcement, Columbia College president Dr. Kwang-Wu Kim says that the new student center will be a “welcoming space as distinctive” as its student body.
There are some other renderings at Curbed.  While the article doesn't confirm the location, we're pretty sure it's the Northwest corner of Wabash/8th:

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What is Play It Live It? And Is it Coming to 47 W. Polk?

A reader sends us this email and picture:
Any idea what sort of business this is? Saw this on the entrance to Dearborn Station

We did some quick googling, but couldn't find much.  Anyone have any knowledge?

(Hat tip:  CGM!)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Walk Ping Tom Park with the Designer on Sunday May 7th

This looks like a fun event:
Walk Ping Tom Memorial Park with Principal Ernest Wong of site design group, ltd., the landscape architecture firm responsible for designing the 19-acre public open space located in Chicago’s growing Chinatown neighborhood.  
Developed in five phases over 18 years the park has become a cultural destination for visitors and has also become an important part of daily life that contributes to the health and wellness of neighborhood residents and the region.

This event appears to be free and is happening on Sunday, May 7th at 10am.  Click here to register.

(Hat tip:  NS!)