Wednesday, February 23, 2022

7-11 on South State (533 S. State) Closing ; A Sign of Bigger Challenges in the Loop?

Mr. South Loop posting about a 7-11 closure on South State:

While one 7-11 closing isn't much news (especially with two other ones in close proximity in the area), it is interesting to see.  Based on the caption it seems like it's a function of lack of business, but also points to a challenging situation on South State further North.  

If you've been North of Ida B. Wells you'll notice numerous storefronts that are empty.  State street was arguably the second biggest "shopping street" downtown behind Michigan Avenue.  While some stores further north are still open the further you go south it gets pretty bleak and desolate.  

This dynamic has always been in place for awhile, but seems like the pandemic has really exacerbated the problem.  The question is - will this bounce back? and if so when?  

There are some major challenges with the loop and how many office workers will return.  It seems like the typical 5 day in-office work experience ain't coming back.  That puts extreme pressure on these retail storefronts.  The value has decayed quickly.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

City Makes Final Attempts to Persuade Bears to Stay at Chicago

The super bowl has come and gone.  A major storyline from this years big game was the Los Angeles Rams brand new $5 billion SoFi stadium.  It is a beautiful building no doubt.  Any team would be envious of that palace - especially a local one with a stadium that despite it's history doesn't meet the needs of the team and fans.

With that as a backdrop, it seems like the Mayor Lightfoot and the city are changing their tone and trying to make a final pitch to keep the Bears at Solider Field (via Chicago Tribune):

Mayor Lori Lightfoot plans to present the Chicago Bears with a “compelling financial case” for the team to stay in the city and her administration will “explore” the possibility of placing a roof on Soldier Field, she said in a pair of interviews Friday.

“We’re going to continue to do everything we can to keep the Bears in Chicago,” Lightfoot said on WSCR-AM 670. “We’re working on some plans to present to them that I think will make a very, very compelling financial case as to why it makes an abundance of sense for them to stay in Chicago.”

The city can offer the Bears “a tier-one market, a tier-one audience, fan base, and I don’t think they can get that in Arlington Heights,” Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot did not elaborate on what sort of financial arrangement the city can make that will keep the Bears from building a lucrative new stadium in the suburbs. But some experts have questioned whether anything short of a new building can convince the Bears to stay within the city limits.

Later, in an interview with WMVP-AM 1000, Lightfoot was asked about the possibility of putting a roof on Soldier Field.

“I think that’s something we have to explore. We do,” Lightfoot said. “My bigger thing is, obviously the roof is an issue, but there are other things we can do to really make the amenities more hospitable” for Bears fans.

The talk of a roof is interesting, but seems unlikely.  While that might make the temperature and experience in stadium nicer, there are bigger financial and logistical challenges that likely are more pressing.  Essentially how can the Bears make more money - whether that's increasing capacity or finding new revenue streams (stadium naming rights, ancillary businesses and fan experiences).

There are also the challenges of getting to Soldier Field that seems to be a sticking point.  Interestingly enough, the massive One Central development seems like it could help on that front.  That plan isn't really linked to the Bears, but could the city (and state) use that as an opportunity to sway the Bears to stay?  Not sure if it's feasible, but that seems like it could help.

Should be interesting to see how this plays out.  If we were betting a person we would put our money on the Bears leaving the Sloop.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

400 Concrete Truck Line-up on Jan 22nd to Pour for 1000M High-rise

This is a bit old, but we still found it interesting (via Chicago Construction News):

McHugh Concrete has completed a nine-hour continuous concrete pour including nearly 4,000 cu. yds. of concrete for the mat slab foundation for 1000M, a 73-story apartment tower at 1000 S. Michigan Ave. in Chicago’s South Loop.

This construction milestone completes the foundations under the main tower of 1000M, which will be one of the city’s tallest apartment buildings at 788 feet when it delivers in 2025. McHugh Concrete has poured the concrete for eight of Chicago’s 10 tallest concrete buildings, the company’s public relations agency said in a Jan. 24 statement.

One lane of Michigan Avenue alongside the project was closed on Jan. 22 for the more than 400 concrete trucks delivering concrete to the site, which is across from Grant Park. Sweeper and vacuum trucks mitigated dust and dirt around the perimeter, and flaggers were posted alongside the site for pedestrian and vehicular safety.

Prior to the pour, McHugh Concrete installed 685 tons of steel rebar (about the same weight as 15 Boeing 737-800 airplanes), and general contractor McHugh Construction coordinated below-ground preparatory work, including drilling and socketing caissons to bedrock approximately 87 feet below ground to support the tower portion of the skyscraper, perimeter sheeting, waterproofing and piping for utilities.

We were out and about that day and can attest to the crazy amount of cement trucks lined up around the site waiting for their turn.  Seems like this development finally has some solid momentum (pun intended?!?!). 

Monday, February 7, 2022

Decadent Dessert Bar & Bistro to Open at 1355 S. Michigan (former Kurrah Space)

We were sad when Kurrah closed - one of our favorite restaurants at the corner of 14th and Michigan.  But it looks like a new dessert spot is heading to the space:

We did some googling and it looks like Decadent Dessert Bar & Bistro is in fact happening according to this article in What Now Chicago.  Interestingly enough - it appears that is it's a franchise:

Decadent Dessert Bar & Bistro is a franchised chain of restaurants from Buttercream Dreams Hospitality Group. The group also owns Decadent’s sister-concept Smallcakes Cupcakery & Creamery, which has grown to operate over 140 locations in 22 states. “Decadent is the first of its kind—a fast and casual dessert bar that offers the highest quality desserts at a sweet yet affordable price,” shares the company’s website. “Everything on our menu is made fresh daily, all day, every day, using only the finest ingredients.”

Sounds pretty good to us.  Hopefully they open soon.