December 2021 newsletter
SLN Events
Annual Membership Meeting
7 pm, Jan. 10
Grace Place
637 S. Dearborn

Speakers Series: Authors Night
6 pm, Feb. 2
Half Sour
755 S. Clark

Night at
Jazz Showcase
806 S. Plymouth Ct.
New SLN Newsletter Format

It's been a few months since the SLN Newsletter has been issued, which was due to reformatting the design of the newsletter. Reformatting was required due to some technical reasons and we took the opportunity to make some other changes. Most notably, you will find in the the Briefly Noted section, short notations with links to more information on that specific topic, if a reader would like it.
One South Loop

South Loop Neighbors is a non-profit membership-based organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in South Loop’s neighborhoods and preserving the area’s landmark districts. South Loop Neighbors represents South Loop residents who are concerned about maintaining a socially, culturally, and economically diverse neighborhood. A key to this is developing strong relationships with key city officials to ensure they respect, hear, and act on the concerns and ideas of the South Loop community.

We understand the South Loop to be one community from Jackson Blvd to the Stevenson Expressway and the Lakeshore to the River. We have worked for a quarter century to broaden and deepen the sense of community across our geography.

The City of Chicago is in the midst of re-districting its 50 wards. Several proposals or “maps” have emerged during this process – with dramatically different treatments of the South Loop. The Rules Committee map splits the South Loop among six proposed wards. The map presented by the City Council’s Latino Caucus splits the South Loop among four proposed wards. The map developed by the Advisory Redistricting Commission would include all of the South Loop in one proposed ward.

South Loop Neighbors strongly supports including all of the South Loop in one ward, no matter which overall map finally addresses other ward boundary concerns across Chicago. We believe that this would be central to “developing strong relationships that respect, hear, and act on the concerns and ideas of the South Loop community.”
Annual Member Meeting
7 pm, Jan. 10
Grace Place
637 S. Dearborn

Our annual meeting will consist of our annual roundup of new development coming to the South Loop, followed by the annual election of Board members for the South Loop Neighbors. Board members help set the course for the organization in terms of planned activities and informational meetings and a well rounded board ensures the planning process is comprehensive in nature. Please consider volunteering to serve in one of these intrinsically rewarding position! If you are interested, please email Jim Wales and he will guide you through the necessary steps.

Speaker's Series: Author Night
Feb. 2
Social hour 6-7 pm
Panel discussion: 7-8 pm
Half Sour
755 S. Clark
Also by Zoom

Join us and hear from four local authors: 

Beth Finke, Writing Out Loud
Amy Bizzarri, 111 Places in Chicago that You Must Not Miss
Sylvester Boyd, The Road from Money
Greg Borzo, Chicago's Fabulous Fountains

Amy Bizzarri has written four books focused on Chicago history, but her experiences don't stop there. She's a teacher, tour guide and certified wine expert. She lived in Rome for five years and has hosted radio and TV segments. Oh, yes, her great, great grandparents met in Chicago the night of the Great Fire!

Beth Finke is an accomplished author, teacher and columnist, familiar to many South Loop residents because she's a regular contributor to the Dearborn Express, our local online newspaper. She teaches memoir writing, is an NPR commentator and moderates a blog for Easterseals' National Headquarters.

Sylvester Boyd Jr. was born in Chicago and in 1981 founded one of the largest minority owned advertising specialty companies in southwest Michigan, selling products to major corporations, businesses, colleges and universities. He has worked as a movie extra, motivational speaker and substitute teacher for CPS.

Greg Borzo has written several books about Chicago history, including Chicago's Fabulous Fountain, which features the Printers Row Park Fountain -- a water tosser that currently being renovated. He's also a tour guide, pickleball player, avid cyclist and member of the South Loop Neighbors' board.
Planning & Development
1400 S. Wabash highrise
Construction has begun on CMK Development's next project, a 30-story building with 299 units at 14th & Wabash. The project includes 110 parking stalls and 3100 square feet of ground-floor retail. The building's entry will be via the vacated 14th St. right-of-way, and a 5000 square foot pocket park will adjoin that to the north. The project is making use of development rights (zoning bulk) transferred from the townhouses just to the north.
Hotel proposed at 424 S. Wabash
An as-of-right 26-floor 270-key hotel tower is set for Wabash just north of the Harris Hostel. The building's base will include two floors of parking (a couple dozen stalls) and two floors of office. The signage in the rendering says “Sonder,” suggesting it will be one of that brand's limited-service hotels. No restaurants or event space are shown, but the ground floor includes 1900 square feet of retail.

Construction of this project isn't expected to begin until next year. Meanwhile, foundation work has begun on an apartment building previously approved for the southwest corner of Van Buren & Wabash.

1000M approved—again
With the support of Ald. King, the city's Plan Commission in June approved an amended scheme for the 73-story building first approved in May 2016, and construction has restarted. Construction originally began in late 2019, then stopped as developers sought a different financing scheme. Rather than the previously approved 506 condos, the building will now have 738 rental apartments, 23 of which will be affordable units. No retail space is included.

Ald. King negotiated agreements that units in the building not be used for AirBnB or Sonder hospitality units. She did not respond to South Loop Neighbors objections that the 805-foot building overwhelms the Michigan Boulevard Historic District and violates the Near South Community Plan.
525 S. Wabash complex
In August, Plan Commission approved two towers above a retail and parking base discussed—and then withdrawn—earlier this year. The project would have a 23-story tower at the north end, with 261 apartments and 314 hotel rooms. A south tower of 36 stories, entered on Harrison, would have 516 units. The Wabash frontage would be retail, with a restaurant space near Harrison and a two-level space for a small (25,000 sq ft) supermarket. Two levels of parking would be above the retail space.
Briefly noted . . .

Recent Past SLN Event
4th Annual SLN Pub Crawl
November 11, 2021