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2,200 Apartments And Hotel Are Coming Near Bally’s Chicago Casino Site In River West

The massive development within walking distance of Bally's $1.7 billion casino on the Chicago River was approved by City Council Wednesday.

A rendering of four proposed residential towers in River West near the future Chicago casino site.
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RIVER WEST — City Council approved plans Wednesday that could bring more than 2,000 apartments and a hotel within walking distance of the future Chicago casino site.

While not yet designed, Shapack Partners hopes to build four residential towers within 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 141-room boutique hotel.

The Salvation Army closed its thrift store and adult rehabilitation center at the location earlier this year, citing “significant disruptions” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Shapack Partners bought the campus in May for $25 million, according to Crain’s.

The proposed towers near the casino site in River West could include more than 2,200 residential units, plus a range of restaurants, retail and office space. Plans shared with the city show the development could contain around 450 onsite affordable units, 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 include up to 1,100 residential units. The other three would be built across the street south of Grand Avenue.

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The former Salvation Army building at 509 N. Union Ave. is set to be converted into a boutique hotel

The buildings would sit just west and south of the $1.7 billion Bally’s casino slated to be built at the Chicago Tribune Freedom Center, which officials hope will open by early 2026.

Planning Commissioner Maurice Cox praised the development during a Plan Commission meeting last week, calling it a “pretty clear win” for Chicago.

The development “is like the missing link between Fulton Market and emerging casino district,” Cox said.

The project would pay $11.9 million to the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund and $1.49 million each to the Local Impact Fund and Citywide Adopt-A-Landmark Fund, according to the city’s planning department.

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