Friday, July 19, 2019

Kroll's Closed for Renovation ; Plans to Reopen Tuesday, July 30th

A Sloop stalwart - Kroll's - appears to be going through a

On their Facebook page, they note:
Kroll’s South Loop will be closed for renovations from Sunday, July 14th until we reopen on Tuesday, July 30th. We look forward to sharing our new space with you soon! Come in and get your fix before we are closed for improvements for two weeks!!! #krollssouthloop #southloop
It's sort of ironic that Kroll's is renovating at the same time that another longstanding South Loop institution - The Wabash Tap - is "reinventing".

Anyway, congrats to Kroll's on this - it's a great place with great owners who are heavily invested in the prosperity of the neighborhood.

Looking forward to heading to the renovated spot.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

'One Central' Benefits May Be Overblown

Some updates about One Central (via WBEZ):
City officials told the public Monday night that enormous economic benefits projected for the proposed One Central megadevelopment may be significantly overstated.
One Central — which Wisconsin-based developer Bob Dunn of Landmark Development has proposed to build over the Metra tracks near Soldier Field — assumes 20 million square feet of new housing, commercial and hotel space.
But officials with Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development say current zoning restrictions allow for less than a quarter of that to be built. They made their comments at a community meeting Monday evening.
“The development plans appear to be based on assumptions that go far beyond what the site’s current zoning would allow,” said Bob McKenna, an assistant commissioner with the planning department. Current guidelines would permit some 4.7 million square feet to be developed, said McKenna and zoning administrator Patrick Murphey.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Crain's Checks In on the Health of Columbia College

If your a perceptive Sloop resident you will notice that Columbia College has an extensive physical presence in our neighborhood.  Beyond the physical presence the College brings a youthful, eclectic vibe as well.

Some complain about noise or the influx of pizza joints catering to this crowd, but it's undoubted that it provides a unique elements to the Sloop.  For instance, Columbia College created the Wabash Arts Corridor which is by far one of the most interesting, new elements within the neighborhood.

Anyway, it's good to keep tabs on how Columbia is doing and we recently stumbled upon a Crain's article getting at this issue.  It's been a rough decade for Columbia (and other colleges), but it appears that they're confident with their new-ish strategy:
Columbia College Chicago, which counts "Saturday Night Live" star Aidy Bryant, Oscar-winning cinematographer Mauro Fiore and Chicago Children's Museum CEO Jennifer Farrington among its graduates, is struggling after a decadelong decline in student enrollment.
The South Loop arts and media college will report a $3.7 million annual operating budget deficit next month—the first in recent history for the 129-year-old school. It would have been worse without a faculty buyout program and staff cuts last spring.
Columbia's enrollment peaked at 12,000-plus students in 2008 and has been sliding ever since, pulling down tuition revenue. It's shrinking partly by design after the private school ended its practice of accepting all applicants, but it also stumbled in adapting to more competition in higher education. President Kwang-Wu Kim is plugging Columbia's unique arts niche and revamping its curriculum in hopes of an enrollment revival this fall as the school opens a new $55 million student center.
"The crisis was five years ago—it's not today," says Bill Wolf, a Chicago financier who is chairman of Columbia's board of trustees. It was "irresponsible" of the school's administration to let Columbia's student population climb so high a decade ago, he adds. "At some point, the board did the right thing and said we're going to be more selective."
The article is pretty in depth so we certainly encourage you to check it out if this is your sort of thing.  The new student center is certainly looking to be a jewel in the crown of Columbia and it will be curious if that's a physical sign of their reinvigorated strategy.  Time will tell.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Harbor - New Restaurant Slated for Former Gioco Space - In Process of Buildout on South Wabash

It was just a matter of time until someone move into this great space (via Tribune):
Four restaurant veterans with a passion for sailing plan to open Harbor (1312 S. Wabash Ave.) this fall in the South Loop.

Chef/partner Anthony Bernal (formerly of Mastro’s Steakhouse) will oversee an American menu that “pays homage to the Great Lakes and local rivers," but will expand enough to include a raw bar of oysters, shrimp, crab and clams.
We will take a cautiously optimistic view for this one.  Obviously words like "veterans" and "Mastro's" are good reason to believe they'll do well but we still question if this (presumaby) highend concept is right of this space and location.

Hopefully they knock it out of the park!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Man Fatally Stabbed on Red Line Train Near Cermak-Chinatown Yesterday Afternoon


A scary scene (via Tribune):
A man was fatally stabbed while riding a Red Line train near the Cermak-Chinatown station on Saturday afternoon in the South Loop. 
The incident caused major delays to Red Line service on Saturday.

Officers were called to a stabbing in the 100 block of West Cermak Road at 2:53 p.m., said police Officer Jessica Alvarez, a spokeswoman for the Chicago police.

The victim, 54, was aboard a southbound train when he and the assailant, who he did not know, began arguing.

#ShotsAroundTheSloop: For Rent


(Hat Tip:  MW!)

Saturday, July 13, 2019

So Maybe 1000M Isn't About to Rise?

Following up on a post from last week in regards to potential progress at 1000M, a reader writes with a correction:
Shot from the roof deck at 1001 S State - nothing happening and zero indication that caisson rigs were ever there.

Guess we'll see if this is a sign of more movement or not.

(Hat tip: JZ!)

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Bella Bronze Tan Abruptly Closes Up Shop at 1503 S. Michigan

A reader writes:
Hey Sloopin,
Any idea what happened to Bella Bronze Tanning Salon??? 
I stopped by yesterday afternoon (July 1st) and there was a masterlock on the outer door and the place looked cleaned out. I reached out to them in Instagram and haven’t gotten a response. I’ve regularly tanned there for 6 years, nothing emailed  and nothing in the last mailer about them closing.
Another reader writes:
Walked past the salon today and it is completely empty with a lock on the door? No notice that they closed or moved. Website and Instagram still active. Twitter shows they made a tweet on July 3rd regarding tanning specials. 
It looks like they had a tweet recently, but it looks pretty generic and may just be a reoccurring type of tweet.  We also called their phone number and the mailbox is full - which is obviously not a good a sign. 

Anyone have any scoop?

(Hat tip: L&C!)

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Caisson Machinery Show Up at 1000M Site - Could It Mean It's Ready to Rise?

A reader writes:
Looks like machines are in place to start caisson drilling for 1000M.

As a reminder, 1000M has been in discussion since back in 2016.  It's been slower moving than some other high-rises likely because it's a condo apartment (vs rental/hotel, etc).

If this actually gets going it would provide another statement highrise to our portion of the Chicago skyline as starchitect Helmut Jahn is behind the design:



(Hat Tip: AL!)

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Monday, July 8, 2019

Excavator Means Roots Pizzeria Ready to Breakground?

Some construction movement at (what we think will be) the new Roots Pizzeria at northwest corner of Dearborn and Polk.  An excavator is at the site:

As a reminder, there has been a lot of questions whether or not this was moving forward.  Last we heard - in June - all signs pointed to yes!

Hopefully they don't hit any more snags and get this one going.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Wabash Tap Looks to be "Reinventing"

We don't know much about the picture below, but it looks like it's pretty clear what they're doing:

While we've always appreciate the simplicity and dive-vibe of Wabash Tap, it always seemed like it could be more.  Will be interesting to see if they opt for the "lower end" of the bar market or reinvent for a more upscale experience.

As a reminder, Wabash Tap is owned by Mainstay Hospitality who also owns The Chicago Firehouse and used to own Grace O'Malley's and City Tavern (1416 S. Michigan - which is now Armand's Victory Tap).

Anyone have any more info?

(Hat tip:  R!)

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

String of Robberies in the Sloop Reported

While this story seems to pop up every now and again, it's good to be vigilant (via NBC5):
A victim of a crime, who says she had more than a $1,000-worth of items stolen, is warning others in the South Loop community about a burglar targeting homes in the area.
Residents in the South Loop say one suspect is likely responsible for several robberies in their neighborhood.
One of the incidents involved missing packages, occurred in a building located in the 1500 block of South Wabash Ave., while the other was reported on the 700 block of S. Financial Place.
A resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, provided photos and told NBC 5 that she had $1,500-worth of deliveries stolen this past Friday, including expensive jewelry and a TV.

There is a video segment NBC5 did if that's your sort of thing: