Afternoon Edition: April 6, 2022

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

SHARE Afternoon Edition: April 6, 2022

A year after losing its retail anchor, Macy’s, Water Tower Place is losing an owner.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

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Afternoon Edition

Chicago’s most important news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Plus, a bonus issue on Saturdays that dives into the city’s storied history.

This afternoon will be partly sunny with a high near 56 degrees and a slight chance of showers. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low around 39 and a chance of showers. Tomorrow will also be mostly cloudy, with a high near 46 and showers likely.

Top story

Water Tower Place owner gives up the property

A year after losing its retail anchor, Macy’s, Water Tower Place is losing an owner.

Brookfield Properties said yesterday that it is turning over the vertical mall to its lender, a unit of New York-based insurer MetLife. The action indicates Brookfield believes the mall is worth less than an estimated $300 million in debt on the property.

It’s another setback for a complex that once defined retail chic but whose fortunes were cut down when the pandemic forced prolonged shutdowns. Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave., also suffered from shopper reactions to reports of crime along the Magnificent Mile. Incidents involving youth led the mall’s management to impose limits on when minors could visit unaccompanied by an adult.

The Macy’s closed early in 2021. Numerous other retailers closed for good at the mall, including the Foodlife food hall, Mity Nice Bar & Grill, Gap and Banana Republic.

In the Chicago area, Brookfield still owns the Oakbrook Center and Northbrook Court malls.

Water Tower Place opened in 1975 and was then a pioneering effort to bring stores into a dense urban locale with a growing number of high-income residents.

For years, the Michigan Avenue retail corridor could command high rents, but the pandemic has pushed the street’s vacancy rate to more than 20%, according to analysts.

David Roeder has more on the fate of one of the city’s iconic shopping spots here.

More news you need

  1. With a promise to “save Chicago” from violent crime, fire Chicago Police Supt. David Brown and restore trust with “demoralized” police officers, Ald. Ray Lopez said today he’s giving up a safe City Council seat to run for mayor against his nemesis, incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Lopez has spent the last three years doing battle with Lightfoot at almost every turn, Fran Spielman reports.
  2. Timothy Mapes, the former longtime chief of staff to then-House Speaker Michael Madigan, wants a judge to toss part of his perjury indictment, arguing that key questions he fielded in front of a federal grand jury were ambiguous and that some of his allegedly false answers were “literally true.” The motion from Mapes’ attorneys also gives the slightest additional peek at what took place in front of the grand jury that was looking into Madigan.
  3. State legislators today announced a plan to push carmakers to be part of the fight to curb carjackings in and around the city. The legislation would require automobile manufacturers to set up a 24-hour hotline that law enforcement can use to find stolen vehicles. 
  4. Loved ones and colleagues are mourning the loss of August “Augie” Sallas, a longtime printers union leader and Little Village community activist, who died last Friday at the age of 86. Read our obituary for Mr. Sallas, who became the first Mexican American chief of the Chicago Typographical Union Local 16.
  5. With maestro Riccardo Muti sidelined due to a positive COVID test result on Monday, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has announced a revised program for its remaining concert dates this week. Lina González-Granados, the CSO’s Solti Conducting Apprentice and a Muti protege, will be making her CSO debut starting tomorrow through Monday at Symphony Center.

A bright one

Teenage gorilla is getting too much screen time, Lincoln Park Zoo officials say

Amare, a gorilla at Lincoln Park Zoo, didn’t seem to notice last week when another teenage gorilla rushed him in a show of aggression that’s common among young males seeking to figure out who’s boss. The 415-pound gorilla was glued to a cellphone.

Not his own, of course. But the smartphone of a visitor who’d been showing Amare pictures and videos through a glass partition.

“It seemed to almost surprise Amare because his attention was very much distracted,” said Stephen Ross, director of the zoo’s Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes.


People stand outside a barricade and take photos of 16-year-old Amare, one of four “bachelor” western lowland gorillas that share a habitat at the Lincoln Park Zoo yesterday.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

But Amare’s cellphone distractions have grown more frequent in recent months.

Staff members have put up a rope line to keep visitors a few feet from the glass partition and will gently intervene — explaining the situation — if it appears Amare is still being distracted by bright screens.

“It’s probably a cyclical phenomena, the more he shows interest the more people want to engage in it. ... It’s something we’ve noticed and have talked about a lot in terms of a strategy to address it,” said Ross.

Ross, who has teenagers of his own, laughed at the fact that he’s now battling screen time issues on two fronts.

Mitch Dudek has more on Amare here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

As a Chicago resident, how do you feel about a casino being built here?

Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: In honor of National Deep Dish Pizza Day, we want to know — who has the best in Chicago?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Pequod’s. Hands down, no contest. It has the best of all three worlds: The perfect crust, the perfect amount of cheese, and the ideal sauce ratio. While everyone I know suggests Lou Malnati’s or Giordano’s to out-of-towners, Pequod’s will always be my answer.” — Danielle Zimmerman

“I prefer Gino’s East but there are many others which are excellent as well.” — Lou Wegrzyn

“Giordano’s! It’s got the most cheese and the best quality pepperoni and sausage.” – Robert Hochstetter

“A definite sleeper and way better than Giordano’s, in my opinion, is Positano’s on 48th and Ashland!” — T.J. Palacios

“Pequods and Lou Malnati’s!” — Katie Soto

“The best deep dish pizza in the city is under the L tracks on Wabash, downtown, in a place run by three brothers called Exchequer Pub. I’m drooling just thinking about it.” — Eric Levy

“Unos is the Original deep dish. Real sliced cheese, tomato sauce made with real tomato slices, and I love the extra tomato and cheese, individual size pizza.” — Patricia Simmons

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