Blackhawks project, Fulton Market towers get OK from City Council zoning panel

Two of the projects will be at Kinzie and Morgan streets, part of a neighborhood that has seen intense activity from developers.

SHARE Blackhawks project, Fulton Market towers get OK from City Council zoning panel
A rendering of towers planned for 370 and 400 N. Morgan St. by developer Vista Group.

A rendering of towers planned for 370 and 400 N. Morgan St. by developer Vista Group.


An expanded Near West Side training center for the Chicago Blackhawks and new high-rise housing for Fulton Market were among projects backed Tuesday by the City Council’s zoning committee.

The busy session included several significant projects, mostly with a housing focus. All were adopted with only brief discussion in a meeting that lasted barely more than two hours, fairly short by the committee’s standards.

When it was over, it’s chairman, Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) said that by his tally, the panel approved 2,233 new housing units during the session. The projects are expected to get final approval at a City Council meeting Thursday.

In the largest of the approved plans, the committee endorsed a zoning change to allow Vista Group to proceed with a three-tower residential or commercial complex at Kinzie and Morgan streets. The long-term plan, with a reported budget of $448 million, allows for up to 1,450 residences.

According to prior discussions with city planners, the earliest buildings would be at 370 and 400 N. Morgan. A later project that still would be subject to city design reviews would be at 401 N. Morgan.

Across the street, at 375 N. Morgan, is another residential high-rise the panel endorsed. The 43-story building would get up to 460 residential units. The project is by developer Fred Latsko and would be connected to a Guinness beer taproom expected to open Sept. 28 in what remains one of the hottest urban markets for office and residential growth, despite a slowdown during the pandemic.

In keeping with a city ordinance, 20% of the Fulton Market units would be affordable, with rents set for people earning low to moderate incomes.

Zoning approval does not mean the projects will start. But getting an official OK from City Hall often helps developers secure financing.

The $65 million proposal from the Blackhawks would expand the team’s training center at 1801 W. Jackson Blvd. The addition will double the complex’s ice rinks to four, creating space for private leagues and community events. It’s supposed to be ready by early 2026.

Team officials said the late Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz insisted that the project add benefits for the community. Wirtz died in July at age 70.


A rendering shows a view from the northwest of the Chicago Blackhawks’ plan for an expanded training facility and ice rinks for community use.


Other projects the committee passed included:

— A North Side project by Draper and Kramer for 131 mixed-income housing units at 1641 N. Halsted St., former site of the Royal George Theatre. The project will include housing for performers and staff at Steppenwolf Theatre across the street.

— Affordable housing developments on the South Side, one by the Resurrection Project on vacant land at 2134 S. Ashland Ave. and the other by Gorman & Co. to convert a former school at 6121 S. Hermitage Ave.


A rendering of the apartment building planned for the site of the closed Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St.


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