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Developer aims for summer start on West Loop project

Mixed-use development at Randolph and Halsted would get a hotel, apartments, offices and retail space.

A view looking southwest of the mixed-use development proposed for 725 W. Randolph, with architecture by Roger Ferris + Partners and Perkins Eastman.
A view of the mixed-use development proposed for 725 W. Randolph St. with architecture by Roger Ferris + Partners and Perkins Eastman.
Related Midwest

With principal tenants signed up, the developer of a mixed-use project on the block east of Halsted Street between Randolph and Washington streets said he hopes to start construction this summer and finish the complex in three years.

Curt Bailey, president of Related Midwest, laid out the project’s timetable at a community meeting Tuesday night called by Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) and the West Loop Community Organization. The meeting was part of Burnett’s process for gathering local input before deciding to support a zoning proposal.

“We need to get in the ground with this development,” Bailey said, citing strong demand for apartments and hotel rooms in the burgeoning area. He said the project, just west of the Kennedy Expressway, would become a gateway to Randolph’s Restaurant Row.

Related, one of Chicago’s most active developers, is proposing a 550-foot-tall tower at 725 W. Randolph St. with an Equinox hotel and fitness club, plus 370 apartments. The Washington side, currently a Bank of America branch, would get a 250-foot-tall office building. Bailey said Bank of America and a Soul Cycle fitness club will anchor that building’s retail portion.

A four-story building at 737 W. Randolph St., home to the Haymarket Pub & Brewery, would be kept.

The project is a redesigned version of one city officials previously approved. Related added the office building because it acquired the bank branch, and it shaved the height of the tower by about 60 feet. Bailey said the added space allowed his firm to provide parking below grade instead of above grade, improving the overall design.

Residents at the meeting offered generally positive reviews but had questions about the tower’s effect on pedestrian and auto traffic along Randolph. Burnett said he supports the project but will review the proposed design with the city’s Transportation Department.

With his backing, a zoning change to accommodate the project would go before the Chicago Plan Commission and then the City Council.

Bailey said the project will provide for 40 apartments designated as affordable under city definitions, with 15 of them being within the tower and 25 at other locations.

He also said the development will generate $8.9 million for the city’s Neighborhood Opportunity Bonus program, which helps commercial corridors in underserved areas. Developers provide the money in exchange for the right to build more density in the downtown area.

The development is expected to support 1,200 short-term construction jobs and 250 permanent jobs.