Apartment Boom Town: Goodbye Pizza-Adorned Gino's East, Hello 444-Unit Tower

Aaron Dunlap

[renderings by Loewenberg Architects]

Somewhere in River North, across the street from the best Al's Beef in the downtown area (we promise), is a short building adorned with gigantic slices of pizza, and one equally gigantic ice cream cone. This phenomena came to pass after Chicago's Planet Hollywood restaurant failed and vacated the building, and rather than find a way to get rid of the giant, triangular adornments that served as hollywood style searchlights, Gino's East pizzeria opted to simply cover them up with equally-giant and equally-triangular vinyl printouts of slices of pizza, plus the ice cream cone to go with their creamery side business. One wonders what they would have done to that tree frog if they'd taken over Rainforest Cafe's building instead. But now Gino's has left the building, and the abandoned photorealistic foodstuffs will soon be taken down and demolished along with the rest of the building, to make way for Magellan Development and Mac Management's second, effectively simultaneous River North apartment project. The 41-story apartment tower, designed by Loewenberg Architects, has been approved by the Chicago Plan Commission at the same meeting as Mac and Magellan's other tower set to replace the Howard Johnson Inn.

As we detailed in full last month, a narrow residential tower will climb 41 floors into the sky, but the base will be brick-exterior and broad enough to fill out the entire footprint and match the height of its neighboring mid-rise office building, whose rooftop will be used for resident amenities and connected to via a skywalk over the alley. The Plan Commission's okay gives the tower the go-ahead to begin construction on time in early 2015.
·Previous Gino's East apartment tower coverage [Curbed Chicago]
·Previous River North coverage [Curbed Chicago]