Taking advantage of having the Greenway Self Park right next door, the AMLI building’s residents will enjoy a large landscaped roof deck on top of the garage. Amenities will include a swimming pool, a jogging path and dog runs. Pretty cool!
As long as they keep saving the old three story buildings in River North and keep building on surface parking lots, I’ll be a happy camper.
(Crain’s) — Chicago developer Duke Miglin and an Irish group he recruited to invest in his stalled River North hotel project are striking back at the lender trying to foreclose on the property, now just a 16-story concrete shell draped in canvas.
Mr. Miglin and his prospective partner allege that the lender, CapitalSource Finance LLC, reneged on an agreement to recapitalize and restart the planned Staybridge Suites hotel at 127 W. Huron St., which has been idle for nearly two years.
A venture financed by the Irish investors filed a federal lawsuit earlier this month to force CapitalSource to return a $1-million deposit from the venture that would have gone toward the aborted recapitalization.
It is the latest salvo in the dispute over the failed 216-room hotel development, which was launched at the peak of the hotel boom but is now just another symbol of the bust. CapitalSource, which provided a $43.1-million construction loan for the project, filed a foreclosure suit in October 2008 alleging that a venture led by Mr. Miglin failed to put up an additional $5.9 million to finance the hotel as required under the loan agreement….
The Poetry Foundation, designed by Chicago’s John Ronan Architects, is slated to begin construction sometime soon at its new location on the Southwest corner of Dearborn and Superior Streets. The Foundation’s new office is slated to open in June 2011 and will be one of a few actual places devoted to the advancement of poetry in the United States.
You go…Poetry Foundation! I suppose I never would have thought poetry needed a building to advance itself but if the building turns out like these photos, advance away. I love the contrast of the black, sleek, modern look next to the older buildings that are made from stone and concrete.
(Crain’s) — Rosebud Restaurants Inc. is planning a new eatery in River North that will feature fresh-made baked goods in the morning, comfort foods at lunch and dinner and a kitchen that will be open well past midnight.
The café, dubbed Eatt, is under construction and is slated to open by June at 6 W. Hubbard St., the longtime home of Vong’s Thai Kitchen, a popular Lettuce Entertain You Inc. restaurant that closed in December when its lease was up.
The concept is loosely modeled after European cafes that are open for breakfast – where diners often grab bread or pastries to go – and then cater to lunchtime, dinnertime and bar-time crowds, says Rosebud owner Alex Dana. Eatt will stay open until either 2 a.m. or 4 a.m.
“Chicago has certainly become a nightclub city, much more than it used to be,” Mr. Mott says. “You can only go to the Wieners Circle so many times.”
Rosebud, which is best known for upscale Italian restaurants and steakhouses, is looking to capitalize on the popularity of the Hubbard Street area for diners and club-goers. Mr. Dana says he also expects Eatt’s fare, items such as short ribs, hamburgers and tuna sandwiches, to play well in a difficult economy.
“It’s going to be a little higher-end comfort food with a real heavy value to the portions,” says Mr. Dana, whose Chicago-based Rosebud has 11 locations in the city and suburbs, including a Rosebud Trattoria in River North at 445 N. Dearborn St.
Mr. Dana first tested some elements of the comfort-food menu last year in west suburban Naperville, where he overhauled the menu of the Rosebud there to focus on items like hamburgers, chicken in a basket, ribs and hot dogs. The experiment lasted only about six months, though, as an outcry from the locals for the old Rosebud menu prompted Mr. Dana to reverse course.
He says the comfort food was well-received, though the family-oriented Naperville crowd was more interested in having Rosebud’s traditional Italian menu than they were in paying upwards of $8 for a burger.
“Sometimes you’re not as smart as everybody thinks you are, and you’ve got to be willing to eat a little crow,” Mr. Dana says. “The town was so caught up with our Italian culinary, they didn’t want to hear about burgers. They wanted their spaghetti back.”
That’s partly why Eatt will have its own, distinct brand separate from Rosebud, Mr. Dana says. He also thinks the River North location is well-positioned for the concept because of the tourist crowd along with nearby bars, restaurants and hotels.
“That location is so hot. There’s so much foot traffic,” he says. “There are a lot of people in the (restaurant) industry who work late and want a place to eat after work. There are all the people in their hotels. They don’t want to eat in their rooms….”
(Crain’s) — The owners of the popular Bull & Bear pub and a local diner plan to open new locations this year in River North.
The firm that owns the Bull & Bear and Stone Lotus, Twilight Traffic Control LLC, leased 12,000 square feet on the ground level and basement at 400 N. State St. for an upscale, “beer-centric” pub that’s to open in September, says Luke Stoioff, a partner with Twilight Traffic.
The 10-year lease has several five-year extension options, Mr. Stoioff says. The location will be twice as large as the firm’s two other River North spots and have a little more expansive menu than Bull & Bear, 431 N. Wells St., serving contemporary American comfort food, he says. It also will have beer taps at the tables.
The 400 N. State building is now 80% leased, says Marc Bushala, the majority owner and managing partner of the group that bought it in 2008.
News of Twilight Traffic’s plans was reported last week by newsletter Marina City Online, which says Redfish closed in July 2008.
Separately, Clarke’s Restaurant signed a 15-year lease this week for 6,650 square feet at 343 W. Erie St., says Arthur Holmer, a managing principal of the building owner, Chicago-based real estate investment firm Wells Street Cos.
Clarke’s, whose “Oh my. You should eat” sign at the 930 W. Belmont Ave. location is well-known to CTA riders, is to occupy space vacated about a year and half ago by residential real estate brokerage Keller Williams Realty, Mr. Holmer says.
The new location will be the biggest for Clarke’s, whose three others are about 4,000 square feet, says Dan Moon of Moon LLC, who represented both sides in the lease. The River North site is targeted to open in mid-April, he says.
Both Clarke’s and Twilight Traffic’s have proven concepts, which should help them succeed even in today’s economy, says Jeremy Kudan, principal at Chicago-based brokerage Kudan Group Inc., which specializes in restaurants and was not involved in either deal.
High traffic and River North’s affluent demographics also give both “a huge chance at long-term success,” Mr. Kudan says in an e-mail.
In an e-mail statement, Clarke’s owner Tom Tsatas says River North “is a perfect location for our clientele and we are looking forward to becoming the local neighborhood restaurant for quality, inexpensive American fare.”
Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on November 20, 2009
A big thanks to SkyscraperPage user ‘Harry C’ because without his photos, I wouldn’t have access to these green roof photos from atop 353 N. Clark’s parking entrance and retail space. You can definitely see the variation in plants and the overall design of the green roof a lot better in the second picture…money well spent in my opinion. I can’t wait to see what the roof will look like a year or two from now.
So after opening up a couple months ago, all I’ve heard is that everyone I know in Chicago wants to go to Rick Bayless’ new restaurant, Xoco, located at 449 North Clark Street. I wanted to visit Xoco because I had heard it was more of a fast food and more inexpensive version of Rick’s other restaurants, Topolobampo and Frontera Grill. While I agree that Xoco is both of the above, it’s still expensive as hell. I spent over $19.00 for my meal which is not what I consider inexpensive.
I ordered the Pepito ($12.00) which is braised Tallgrass shortribs, caramelized onion, artisan Jack cheese, black beans, pickled jalapenos. Now, I have to admit, the Pepito was an awesome sandwich. Now, I’m sure Rick Bayless would hate to have his sandwich described as a much better Portillo’s Italian beef sandwich but that’s all I thought about when I was eating it. Personally, I would take this as a compliment because Portillo’s Italian beefs are awesome. I also had an order of fresh chips and Frontera guacamole ($4.00) and one homemade churro ($1.25). Obviously I could have gone without the churro in order to save money, but I felt like the chips and guac were necessary. You know how a burger comes with fries? Well, this sandwich didn’t come with anything else.
My sister ordered the Gunthorp Chicken sandwich which is wood-roasted red chile chicken, caramelized onion, black beans, avocado and tomatillo salsa ($8.50). She didn’t like it and only finished half of the sandwich. I thought it was alright, but the red chile sauce was so thick and almost chalky in texture.
Our friends both ordered the slow-cooked pork carnitas with potato-masa dumplings, chayote, roasted serrano chile, spinach, arugula, avocado…all in soup form ($11.50). Neither of them liked it and for one, it was too spicy and painful to even finish. Again, I thought it was good but not $11.50 good. Everyone but me ordered the hot chocolate and althought it was very rich for two of the three, I thought it was awesome…think melted chocolate mixed with a teaspoon of water. That’s how rich it was.
The service and food came out very fast and they definitely have it down to a ‘T’ so I give them props for that. Too bad Xoco isn’t larger because it could definitely use more tables at times. Click HERE for their menu!
This photo is a few weeks old, so I’m sure the roof is looking a little better than this picture, but it’s an update nonetheless. This green roof is located at 353 N. Clark Street on top of the parking entrance and retail areas of a brand new office building in River North. The office building, named 353 N. Clark has been developed by Friedman Properties. Also, check out ChicagoismynewBlog!’s previous post on this same green roof by clicking HERE!
Thanks to Skyscraperpage user, ‘harryc,’ who posted these great pictures of an almost complete 45 story office building, located at 353 N. Clark Street in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. 353 N. Clark is being developed and anchored by Mesirow Financial and from what I understand, the green roof is located on top of the building’s retail and underground parking entrance as well as the 45th floor mechanical penthouse. Props for the cool design too!