Massive River West Apartment Towers, hotel will link Fulton Market to Bally’s casino district, says city official
RIVER WEST — A city council put forward plans Thursday to build four residential towers that could bring more than 2,000 apartments and a hotel within walking distance of the future site of Chicago’s casino.
The Chicago Plan Commission has approved a proposal by Shapack Partners to build the towers in two planned development areas near the Milwaukee/Grand/Halsted intersection in River West. The development would also convert a former Salvation Army building at 509 N. Union Ave. into a boutique hotel with 141 rooms.
The Salvation Army closed its thrift store and on-site adult rehabilitation center earlier this year, citing “significant disruption” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Shapack Partners bought the campus in May for $25 million, according to Crain’s.
Although not yet designed, the proposed towers near the casino site in the West Loop could include more than 2,200 residential units, as well as a range of restaurants, retail and offices. Plans shared with the city show the development could hold around 450 affordable units on site, depending on the final layout.
One of the towers would be located directly east of the Salvation Army building at 500-520 N. Desplaines St. and could house up to 1,100 residential units. The other three would be built across the street south of Grand Avenue.
The buildings would be located just west and south of the $1.7 billion Bally Casino to be built at the Chicago Tribune Freedom Center, which officials hope will open in early 2026.
Planning Commissioner Maurice Cox praised the development, calling it a “pretty clear win” for Chicago for its creative use of existing property and infrastructure and its proximity to public transportation.
The development “is like the missing link between Fulton Market and the emerging casino district,” Cox said.
The Planning Commission also approved proposals for a grocery store project in West Humboldt Park and residential buildings in the Near North Side and West Loop.
In West Humboldt Park, commissioners have approved a 60-unit apartment building that would consist primarily of affordable housing and a grocery store on the ground floor.
The development at 3831 W. Chicago Ave. will be funded by a combination of TIF funding and low-income tax credit, according to planning documents.
Developer 548 Development has purchased the vacant buildings in the middle of the block, which will be combined with city land on each corner, a city spokesperson told the Block Club earlier this year.
“It’s the kind of stuff people on the North Side may have gotten used to. For the West Side, it’s a whole new day,” Cox said of the development.
AJ Patton of 548 Development said a grocery store tenant has signed a letter of intent to occupy the building, and more details will be shared in November.
The Community Development Commission approved the release up to $18.7 million in TIF dollars to support the project in early October.
The Commission also approved:
Projects require City Council approval to proceed.
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