WEST LOOP — A West Loop alderman will likely approve a developer’s new plan to bring a massive Equinox hotel-and-apartment tower and 15-story office building to the neighborhood.
On Tuesday night, Related Midwest pitched revised plans for a 48-story, 550-foot-tall tower at 725 W. Randolph St. and a 15-story, 250-foot-tall office building at 724 W. Washington Blvd. The developer wants to build 370 apartments, 240 hotel rooms and a 40,000-square-foot Equinox fitness club in the skyscraper.
If approved, the office building would include a Soul Cycle and Bank of America branch on its first floor.
Under plans, a courtyard would be built between the two buildings. A base that connects the buildings would include an indoor and outdoor pool, said Curt Bailey, president of Related Midwest.
The project will include 15 affordable apartment units, and the remaining 25-units required by the city’s Affordable Housing Ordinance will be built off-site. The developer will also pay more than $540,000 in fees for opting out of building all of the required affordable units on site.
City Council approved Related Midwest’s intial plan for the Equinox skyscraper at 615 feet with 370 units and a 165-room hotel skyscraper in 2018. But developers revised the plan to include the office building after acquiring the 725 W. Randolph property, requiring new approvals from the city.
During Tuesday’s meeting, some residents raised concerns about drop-offs in front of the buildings. Other residents questioned whether 170 parking spaces would be enough to accommodate all of the hotel guests, residents, office workers and retail guests the project will attract.
“Our theory on parking is this.. across the city and across the country, providing a lot of parking spaces is not conducive in …reducing traffic and where we are going as a society,” Bailey said. “We think 170 spaces will be very sufficient.”
Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) said he will push for the Halsted ‘L’ stop to be reopened to alleviate traffic and congestion in the area as development continues to boom.
Another resident said she would like the project to include more green space because of the incredible density that has been added to the neighborhood in the last decade.
“It would be nice to see a park space added … somewhere nearby. All the developers have been getting what they want for the most part…and I think the city shouldn’t lose sight that we still need some open space,” the resident said.
Damone Richardson, the West Loop Community Organization’s development chair, said the group had not issued a formal recommendation on the proposal.
After the meeting, Burnett said he liked the revisions and will back the project, citing the 60-foot height reduction, underground parking spaces and planned affordable housing on site.
If approved, Related Midwest will pay $8.9 million into the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund for added density. Construction could begin as early as this summer.
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