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Chicago Enterprise

Chicago Enterprise is a weekly column about urban development trends and business decisions that shape the future of our region.

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Two projects to look forward to when fun comes back

Despite challenges, developers of an esports arena and music venue push past the gloom of the pandemic.

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More workers find a four-day workweek is within reach

The pandemic started a revolution in attitudes and more employers are considering how to help workers avoid burnout.

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Homeowners could bring pride and power to North Lawndale

Plans to bring 250 single-family homes to the community have taken many steps to keep them affordable.

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Don’t punt on Soldier Field’s place in Bears’ future

There are many reasons why staying in downtown Chicago is the best decision for a risk-averse franchise.

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At long last, LeClaire Courts replacement looks real

In partnership with the Chicago Housing Authority, developers have submitted to the city a plan to build a $400 million residential and commercial center along Cicero Avenue on the Southwest Side.

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Landlords try homey touches to get you back to the office

Amenities from outdoor space to ‘nap pods’ and cushier lobbies are aimed at easing the transition from remote work.

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Driven by dreams but strapped for cash, owner strives to restore Avalon Regal Theater

Jerald Gary has been the landmark building’s steward, but he needs reinforcements to bring the onetime center for African American performers back to glory.

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Appeal for affordable housing pushes limits of mayoral power

A planned Northwest Side apartment building prompts debate over neighborhood opposition and aldermanic power over zoning.

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Developer sees One Central project as where Chicago goes to grow

Bob Dunn of Landmark Development said a new study bolsters his case for a state-backed transit hub at the site west of Soldier Field, but his vision involves risk.

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‘Up-and-comer’ developer makes headway without the banks

With an emphasis on sustainability and building wealth in minority areas, CEO AJ. Patton plans projects on the South and West sides.

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As Obama Center advances, Tiger Woods golf course is stuck in the rough

Fundraising challenges and a change of administrations are among the issues facing the plan to join the Jackson Park and South Shore courses, creating a premier 18-hole attraction.

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Chicago tour guide uses ‘ugly’ buildings for lessons and a few zingers

Mike McMains offers a River North tour and is planning one for the Loop that’s different from standard architectural appreciation.

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Downtown property lags as pandemic’s threat revives

The office markets are hurting the most, and far more than industrial or retail space, as the Delta variant scrambles employers’ plans to reopen.

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Football or powerball? Sizing up a Bears move to Arlington Heights

The racetrack site is vast, but redeveloping it requires more than a stadium as inspiration.

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2 men killed in drive-by shooting in West Town

The men, 28 and 31, were standing in the first block of North Western Avenue when someone in a passing red Honda SUV fired at them.

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Saving the Thompson Center requires boldness worthy of its architect

While the state looks for top dollar, an architecture group has called for ideas for preservation.

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Mom struggles to get answers from cops about murdered son. ‘They just think Myron is another Black kid who just got slain in the street, and that’s not my baby.’

Carmela Richardson says she repeatedly tried in vain to reach a detective about the death of her son, found in a burning car with a gunshot wound to his head.

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Reform-minded assessor tackles Chicago valuations and clout

Business groups are nervous as Fritz Kaegi, citing evidence of longstanding inequities, reviews assessments citywide.

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Golf club in zoning fight in the suburbs keeps calm, caddies on

Business is said to be brisk at the Calumet Country Club in the south suburbs, but its owner said he still plans to develop the property.

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Firm invests $20 million in K-Town turnaround

Veteran entrepreneur Stephen Davis aims to find ‘hidden treasures’ in a community that has been neglected.

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As Parkway Gardens struggles, owner raises stakes on downtown bet

Owner Related Midwest put the South Side complex on the market, then pulled it off amid code violations and as it presses its case for a casino license in the South Loop.

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As city reopens, property markets shake off the pandemic

Office and residential use is reverting to long-term patterns, which bodes well for downtown Chicago.

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‘Beercade’ owner fights to open restaurant in Pilsen

Chireal Jordan is jousting with City Hall over its denial of a liquor license, but the alderman insists it’s all about preserving quality of life and a family-oriented atmosphere.

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‘Coalition of the willing’ meets a community in need

An organization backed by the private and nonprofit sectors, the Corporate Coalition of Chicago is working to bring businesses to areas lacking investment and the tools to get it.

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Apartment developer aims to please — and disrupt

With a new building in the Loop and another planned for North Lake Shore Drive, Jonathan Holtzman pursues a business model that calls for higher-end services.

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All about equity: Sterling Bay builds connections to minority firms

Already with an active diversity program, the developer has hired real estate investor Hugh Williams to find business partners among growing companies.

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City digs up interest in sites long neglected

Proposals sought for key commercial stretches emphasize corner parcels and some architectural landmarks.

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As pandemic lifts, landlords await relief on evictions

A ban on evictions has stuck building owners with rent scofflaws and squatters, forcing them to cut expenses and lowering the quality of the housing stock.

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Council closes puppy mill loophole, gives home businesses ‘wiggle room’

The ordinance, championed by Ald. Brian Hopkins, seeks to slam the door on "sham" rescue groups. It passed over strong objections from pet store owners and Ald. Ray Lopez, who has proposed his own version targeting substandard breeders.

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Always a risk, One Central project now a tougher sell

More questions emerge about the feasibility of its transit hub and whether the state is still interested in backing it.

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Esports arena cultivates a new market in amusement

The $30 million venture near McCormick Place promises an immersive experience in virtual reality.

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Plans at LeClaire Courts site promise to atone for CHA’s past

The $350 million investment would mix market rate and subsidized housing and could revitalize a stretch of Cicero Avenue.