Ald. Reilly, Related Midwest unveil new plan for 400 N. Lake Shore Dr.

By Daniel Patton, March 12, 2020


Alderman Brendan Reilly and Related Midwest President Curt Bailey unveiled a new proposal for 400 N. Lake Shore Drive at the Hotel Intercontinental on March 10. Speaking at a forum hosted by the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents (SOAR), the official and the developer appear to have not only put residents at ease, but also proven that less can indeed be more.

Related Midwest hopes to begin construction by the end of the year. The company’s intention to scale back on a two-tower plan that was released and rejected in 2018 is a key to making that happen.

Gone from the previous design are the hotel component, the ground-level “podium” that connects the structures, and the top 200 feet of the larger building. The new proposal emphasizes rental occupancy, eliminates the podium completely, and caps off the larger building at 875 feet.


400 N. Lake Shore Drive (Skidmore, Oings & Merrill)


Although the summary fulfilled Alderman Reilly’s promise that, “you’re going to see a very different proposal from the last one,” it also came with his assurance that, “by no stretch is this approved.”

Either way, the future possibilities are looking much better than the current reality. 

Located at the site of a previous effort to build Santiago Calatrava’s record-breaking Chicago Spire, 400 N. Lake Shore Drive is currently home to the hole that was excavated for the project and then abandoned when a court ruling halted it in 2014.

After receiving gracious introductions from SOAR President Deborah Gershbein and Alderman Reilly, Bailey described the proposal from the stage of the hotel’s Avenue Room, where an estimated 200 attendees had arrived to participate. He expressed admiration, enthusiasm, and pride for his company and the neighborhood.

“This is our eighth project in the last 25 years in Streeterville,” he explained. “We are enormous fans of this area … we’re very proud of the work that we’ve done here in the past and the changes we’ve seen in Streeterville.”


400 N Lake Shore Drive (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill)


Referring to the development as “the next step in the evolution of this neighborhood,” he proceeded to run through a “punch list” of solutions created to accommodate concerns that residents expressed when the earlier plan was released:

  • The hotel and associated programs have been removed
  • The podium has been completely removed
  • Hotel use has been eliminated, reducing taxi and rideshare traffic by approximately 70%. Service traffic will be directed to Lake Shore Drive
  • Through-traffic will not be possible from North Water Street to Lake Shore Drive
  • All pedestrian access to DuSable Park is now completed by using the Chicago Riverwalk
  • The pedestrian paths have been fully redesigned to include wider paths, greater security coverage, and improved lighting
  • Related Midwest remains committed to the completion of DuSable Park and the connection of the park from the Chicago Riverwalk

A slideshow of architectural renderings and bullet-point summaries complemented Bailey’s presentation. It displayed a park illuminated by dozens of lights, a protective barrier between pedestrians and Lake Shore Drive, and an arrangement of cameras that can film activity from 24 points of view throughout the 4.5 acre complex.

Bailey also stated that Related Midwest has committed $10 million towards the completion of DuSable Park and provide ample access to it as well as the Riverwalk.


400 N Lake Shore Drive (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill)


The crowd responded with a round of applause and an abundance of questions.

The first enquiry revealed that the buildings would contain 1,100 residents but only 300 parking spaces, making traffic a matter of concern for the remainder of the Q&A.

Bailey indicated that, according to several of Related’s recently completed projects, a growing number of city residents prefer to live car-free. He also reiterated that the property’s delivery docks would be accessible only through Lake Shore Drive and the construction equipment needed to build them would go the same route.

Alderman Reilly stepped up to explain how he had incorrectly prioritized the need for parking garages early in his political career.

Kimley Horn traffic expert Peter Lemmon, also on hand for the presentation, addressed the issue as well. He explained that traffic on N. Water St. was necessary to avoid major inconveniences for cars and pedestrians alike.

“We’ve taken a hard look at all the different ways to run this traffic,” he said. “People need to get dropped off, and you want cars to be able to turn around.”

The accessibility, cost, completion, and operation of DuSable Park was another popular topic. The presenters indicated that those responsibilities would mostly fall within the Park District’s purview.

If all goes according to plan, the park will be used as a staging area for vehicles and equipment during construction of the first tower and open for public use upon its completion.

A number of attendees used their turn at the microphone to compliment the aesthetic of 400 N. Lake Shore Drive throughout the session, which was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill architect David M. Childs.

Construction on 1400 W. Monroe ’boutique’ begins April 1

The ‘boutique condominium’ envisioned for 1400 W. Monroe is one step closer to reality: developer JK Equities announced yesterday that construction on the project will begin April 1.

Located across from the West Loop’s Skinner Park, the seven-story, 42-unit building will exude a contemporary aesthetic while paying tribute to the area’s industrial legacy.

Designed by award-winning Chicago firm Booth Hansen, the structure will bear an exterior façade of “rich depth of grey brick paired with metal detailing and industrial-sized windows” that accommodate a flood of natural light.

The interiors of the residences, designed by New York-based Mojo Stumer, will feature “modern, open-concept floor plans, oversized kitchens and elegant finishes.”

“We’re excited to begin construction on 1400 Monroe and become one step closer in delivering it to the neighborhood and our buyers,” says Jerry Karlik, principal of JK Equities. “This project provides future residents with a well-designed home on the park, in one of the most coveted public-school districts in Downtown Chicago, at a competitive price point.”

Prices at the location will range from $760,000 to $2.35 million. Unit sizes will go from 1,242 to 3,139 square feet and include two-, three- and four-bedroom layouts. More than 30% of the 42 residences have sold to date.

Hotel displays pieces from AbilityLab patient artists

By Elisa Shoenberger

Hotel Chicago West Loop and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab have teamed up for an art show.

In February, Hotel Chicago West Loop, 1622 W Jackson Blvd., opened an exhibit in the Annex showcasing the work of 10 patient artists from the AbilityLab’s art therapy program. More than thirty works of art are on display on the third floor of the Hotel and are available for purchase.

Jean-Luc Laramie, General Manager at Hotel Chicago West Loop, said the Hotel has been committed to supporting the art community in the city. 

“Chicago art is something we can’t have on a back burner any more,” he said 

The Hotel developed an arts initiative called the Annex which began with the private collection of Helmut Horn. The initiative moved on to  work with muralists to develop murals inside guestrooms. This partnership with the AbilityLab is the third iteration of this project.

The hotel  showcases the work AbilityLab’s art therapy program has been doing. 

“Our patient population is dealing with brain and spinal injuries, stroke patients with disabilities that they never had before,” said Molly Rinehart, Manager, Keystone and Associate Board at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. “Coping with that new disability is difficult. Our art therapy program [works with people on] hand grip and motion, it is used to facilitate mind body connection.” 

Rinehart said art therapy helps patients “trying to find that thing inside you that makes you who you are.” 

“Without art, I may not have survived my diagnoses, the streets, or been able to make independent living choices,” said Rami Maat, a patient artist in the hotel exhibit.

AbilityLab provides its art therapy program free of charge to its patients. They rely on their annual fundraiser, Art in Motion to cover the costs of this integral program. The partnership began last fall when the AbilityLab reached out to the Hotel for a raffle prize for Art in Motion according to Rineheart.

Laramie said during  the opening in February “it was amazing just to see five of the 10 artists here. These stories from these artists are incredible —their car accidents, myotonic dystrophy, etc.—and to see them talk about their work and their passion.”

There are plans to make the third floor gallery into a rotational one where works from future Art in Motion events will be displayed.

Import Hoxton Embraces West Loop

(Published April 3, 2019)

By Stephanie Racine, Staff Writer

London-based Hoxton Hotel opens in West Loop

By Stephanie Racine, Staff Writer

On April 2, The Hoxton, a London-based hotel chain, opened doors in West Loop, on the corner of Green and Lake Street. With 182 guest rooms, The Hoxton includes three restaurants, a coffee bar and a rooftop pool. Guest rooms are available in three sizes, Snug, Cosy, and Roomy. Rooms feature linens by local artist Cody Hudson.

The Hoxton encourages West Loop neighbors to grab a coffee and make use of the public spaces. The hotel used local artists to decorate common areas, and each hotel room features a work of art from a Chicago artist. In lieu of a souvenir shop, The Hoxton features products by locals, branded by Hoxton. Chicago’s own Up in the Air Somewhere has ceramic dishware available for purchase at the hotel’s retail counter with The Hoxton name printed on the bottom.

“The popular Hox Friends initiative gives guests the opportunity to connect with locals and feel more in tune with Chicago’s culture and happenings,” according to a company press release. 182 Hox Friends, who are local tastemakers in the Chicago community, provide tips for guests of favorite places within Chicago. Hox Friends also provide book selections for every room.

The three dining destinations include Cabra Cevicheria, a Peruvian restaurant by Chicago’s own Stephanie Izard, of Girl and the Goat fame. Cabra Cevicheria opens. Cira is Hoxton’s all-day restaurant that has Mediterranean notes. Hoxton’s cocktail bar, Lazy Bird, will feature 52 classic cocktails, along with live music on certain evenings.

The Hoxton, Chicago is located at 200 North Green Street with rates beginning at $129.

More information is available at

A look at One Bennett Park

By Jesse Wright, Staff Writer

With work wrapping up, developers of One Bennett Park said residents of the upper floor condominiums will begin moving into the property in March.

Floors one through 39 opened in November.

The 70-story project gives Streeterville one of the tallest buildings in the city and will add hundreds of residents to the 451 East Grand Ave. location.

Tricia Van Horn, vice president of marketing and communications for Related Midwest, said her company is no stranger to the Streeterville area.

Related Midwest has developed highly successful apartment and condominium buildings in Streeterville for more than two decades, including 500 Lake Shore Drive, and we know it’s a terrific place to call home,” she said in an email.

Van Horn cited the neighborhood’s history and proximity to retail, transportation and cultural institutions as attractive features for developers. She said she expects the One Bennett Park development will be a good fit.

The building was designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects (RAMSA), and Van Horn said the exterior reflects a classic, historic style.

“One Bennett Park, Related Midwest and RAMSA have created an all-residential, heirloom building whose design pays homage to the city’s beloved pre-war architectural heritage. A limestone podium, formal motor courts, ornamental metalwork, vertical setbacks and a lantern ‘crown’ distinguish the building from most new construction towers,” she said.

The exterior might look old-school, but the inside amenities are modern. Apartments and condominiums range from $3,700 to $18,500 per month, with floor plans from 905 to 3,323 square feet.

Residents will have access to fitness and wellness facilities located on the third and fourth floors. These include training studios, a club-level gym with cardiovascular and strength equipment, a 60-foot indoor pool and a 10,000-square-foot deck overlooking Bennett Park with an outdoor pool, fire pits and grilling stations, Van Horn said.

The third and fourth floor amenities include a children’s play area, prep and catering kitchens, and a “tween room” with games, televisions and modular lounge seating.

Additionally, the two-acre Bennett Park is expected to open in summer 2019. Designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh, the creator of Maggie Daley Park, the park will lie adjacent to the property and include a playground, dog runs and meandering pathways, Van Horn said.

The park will be closed certain days each year for One Bennett Park residents to hold private events.

As of February, units were still available. Contact a Related representative at for information.

The things in your home really should bring you joy

By Urban Real Estate

Winter in Chicago is the perfect opportunity to stay inside and tidy up. With the popularity of organizer-extraordinaire Marie Kondo’s Netflix hit “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” many are turning closets inside-out with the goal of finding happiness while decluttering.  

In real estate, decluttering ensures that a prospective buyer can “visualize” themselves in a space, so that a buyer is less focused on your life, and more focused on the home. The bonus is that living in a residence that looks and feels great is a win, all the way around.

Kondo’s six-step method is both a physical and emotional journey. The importance of loving your space isn’t just about the walls you live in – but also the momentos that share your home, as well. Michael Emery, senior partner and broker with Urban Real Estate, sees clients who struggle with what to do with belongings.

“When we are preparing a home for sale, all things will need to go at some point, so we recommend starting that packing process before we bring buyers in the door,” Emery said. “The goal behind bringing joy to your home is compounded with emotionally being prepared to remove a loved one’s belongings who has passed, clothes that simply don’t fit or you will never wear, or items from your children that simply need a new place other than your front closet,” Emeray adds.

As you declutter, think about how you want to use the items in your home. Some things you might want to keep, but it may not be necessary to keep them in your home.

“That’s what storage facilities are for. Think about what could go where, what you might keep for a second home or investment property, or what could be better used by someone else you know, and proceed confidently,” Emery added.

Contact us at Urban Real Estate for a consultation on the resources we have for organizing and staging, or for your next home. or (312) 528-9200.

[Winter is a great time to declutter a home. Photo courtesy Urban Real Estate]

It’s a new year – Is the time right for a second home?

By Urban Real Estate

Each year, we set out a list of resolutions and goals — things to achieve in the new year — but some goals are more important than others.

One important goal is understanding what your real estate aims are and deciding where you want to go and how you want to get there.

“The beginning of the new year is the ideal time to map out your short and long-term real estate dreams,” says Michael Emery, senior partner, Urban Real Estate. “Buying a second home is both rewarding and can generate revenue until you are ready to enjoy it. Think about recreational climates, cities where the opportunity of short-term rental services are welcome and where they make sense.”

According to the National Association of Realtors, 45 percent of investment buyers bought their investment property to generate income through renting the property. Of those surveyed, 24 percent of those with investment properties rented the property in 2017 as a short-term rental.

Urban Real Estate agents work with clients and help them consider not only their investment buying options in Chicago but in other cities as well. Whether a buyer is considering cottages in Michigan, homes on golf courses in Florida or a chalet in Vail, being able to set yourself up for making that dream a reality doesn’t need to seem out of reach.

“We have a network of brokers across the country we work with to help identify just what might work for you, and the lifestyle markers you hope to realize with its immediate purchase,” Emery says.

Jumbo loan products paired with ways to generate income for the investor can make the dream of second-home ownership a more attainable reality. “Vacation rental services can help you cover many of the costs related to a turn-key or fixer-upper purchase in an attractive community which welcomes short-term rentals. The key is working with a trusted broker to help you identify property that is valuable and worth the investment if the home isn’t one you’ll be using often for yourself,” adds Emery.

Explore your second home dreams with the Urban Real Estate team of brokers. Contact us at (312) 528-9200 for your second-home or other real estate needs.

Waterfront penthouse makes a global splash as online tools upgrade buying experience

By Urban Real Estate


The New Eastside has become a cornerstone in the city of Chicago for luxury, elegance and community. The Chandler is no exception, bringing to life some of downtown’s most magnificent residences. Making news this month is a new listing at the coveted 450 E. Waterside address, unit 3001. This is a penthouse with a story that is attracting buyers from across the globe.

This premier 3,200-plus square foot residence has everything one could want in a dream home in the sky. Among its best assets are its permanent, unobstructed panoramic views of the Chicago River to the north, Navy Pier and Lake Michigan to the east, and the city’s skyline as far as the eye can see.

Matt Silver, partner/broker at Urban Real Estate, said, “This home’s meticulous interior design by the team at Ashworth & Associates, impressive state-of-the-art kitchen, 11-foot-high ceilings with floor-to-ceiling windows and with every inch customized with impeccable finishes and sweeping views makes this a show-stopper. The owners have left no detail to chance.” Silver added, “Our goal is to bring as much of our listing to life to a prospective buyer, leaving the guesswork out. We want them to love it before they even visit onsite.”

Aside from being impressive in layout and design, the three bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom boasts a large foyer ready to greet guests when they walk in the door. Two car parking is included in the $2.75 million price tag. “It’s really the ultimate in city living,” Silver said.


Urban Real Estate strategically markets its properties using interactive online visual media to garner interest from prospective buyers around the world. Virtual property tours, along with guided video tours and strategic media efforts, help increase traffic and interest to a property, and often lead to offers from buyers reached via more tailored marketing methods.

Contact Matt Silver at or call (312) 399-0017 for more information, or visit us at to preview this listing. Or connect with any Urban broker who can show you just what you are missing at (312) 528-9200.

Market trends indicate buying a good bet in Chicago

By Urban Real Estate

Chicago has historically remained a steady market for home buying and selling as residents have often made Chicago home (versus other markets where second home investing was more prevalent and often also the first to feel the impact of a distressed marketplace).

That said, interest rates remain low and with a lower rate, comes housing affordability. If the Federal Reserve announces interest hikes before the end of the year, it is likely that that, too, will impact mortgage rates, increasing the cost of a home and decreasing the buying power a consumer might have today.

Matt Farrell, managing partner with Urban Real Estate, has these recommendations for contemplating what to do in today’s market:

First, there are great opportunities to buy in the Chicago market. If buyers are on the fence, lower rates today can be locked in through Urban’s recommended lender for a fixed limited time with a pre-approval, giving you the buying power to negotiate strategically on your next purchase. Buyers are not obligated to make any purchase, but at least have the “financial house” in order, with a low interest rate locked in.

Next, sellers are motivated, especially with good offers. A solid offer is better than no offer to a seller and often sellers have a variety of reasons why they may be looking to move. While buyers may have not planned to purchase in the winter, there may be a chance to secure a great primary or investment property and appreciate the residual benefit of a more aggressive decision.

Finally, If interest rates drop in the future, buyers can always refinance. The reality is, that is a better situation to be in rather than to miss a great opportunity, or to not find what one is looking for later. Moreover, as housing prices continue to increase in Chicago, buyers may later fight the battle of both a higher priced home, and higher interest rates.

Contact one of the trusted advisors at Urban Real Estate to help consider buying or selling in this market, and help get on track for a pre-approval with Urban’s preferred lenders who have a loan program right for you at (312) 528-9200 or visit us at

Open for business: Downtown Chicago hotels booming

By Stephanie Racine, Staff Writer

Downtown Chicago is booming for hotels. In the last month, the Hotel Julian opened in the New Eastside while in the Streeterville area, Aloft opened a new hotel and the Red Roof Inn opened the St. Clair Hotel.

These properties offer hundreds of new rooms for city visitors, along with luxury and easy access to all the downtown amenities.

The Hotel Julian, which opened Oct. 1 at 168 N. Michigan Ave., the corner of Michigan and Randolph, features 218 rooms, with millennium kings and double rooms.

“St. Julian is the patron saint of hospitality, so that is where the name comes from,” said George Jordan, Executive VP with Oxford Hotels and Resorts, the owners and operators of Hotel Julian.

The name of the hotel’s restaurant, About Last Knife, offers an all-day menu.

“You can get an omelet in the morning or at night, or beef Wellington by the slice in the morning or at night,” Jordan said. The hotel pays tribute to the building’s original proprietors Benjamin Marshall and Charles Fox of the eponymous Marshall and Fox architectural firm, with Marshall’s image on the restaurant’s wall.

In Streeterville, Aloft Chicago Mag Mile opened Oct. 1, at 243 E. Ontario St.

Aloft is a Marriott Hotel brand, and Tishman is the developer, owner and manager. There are 337 guest rooms and a restaurant, according to their website. The hotel takes inspiration from the site’s former occupant, the Chicago Contemporary Museum of Art.

Additionally, the Red Roof Inn opened the St. Clair Hotel on Oct. 1, at 162 E. Ontario, as a part of their upscale Red Collection hotels.

For more information about the Hotel Julian, call 312-346-1200 or visit

For more information about Aloft Chicago Mag Mile, call 312-429-6600 or visit

For more information about the St. Clair Hotel, call 312-787-3580 or visit

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