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Developer hints at 50-story tower for long-vacant site

The northwest corner of Lake Street and Stetson Avenue.

Located just a block north of Millennium Park, the downtown parcel has sat idle since 2009

A long-vacant downtown site at the northwest corner of Lake Street and Stetson Avenue may be developed into a high-rise project after all. Previously slated for the failed Mandarin Oriental skyscraper, the parcel was tipped as the location of a glassy 50-story tower in an advertisement appearing in the trade publication Real Estate Alert, reports Crain’s.

Though it’s unclear what sort of building developer CA Residential—a subsidiary of CA Ventures—plans for the East Loop lot, rental apartments would be a safe guess given the firm’s track record. Recent CA projects include a 261-unit rental development in Old Town, a 320-unit South Loop tower, and a plan to convert a pair of historic Loop office buildings into 490 apartments.

via Real Estate Alert
The glassy tower in question is shown upper left in this advertisement from CA Residential.

Before the site at Lake and Stetson can come back to life, however, the developer needs to first acquire the property, reports Crain’s. The foreclosed parcel was put up for sale back in 2016, seven years after the 74-story Mandarin Oriental hotel and condo development went bust following the Great Recession.

Despite competition from a number of downtown apartment developments expected to complete a record-setting combined 4,400 units this year, the site has the advantage of prior approval for a 900,000-square-foot building. The zoning also falls under Chicago’s older, more lenient affordable housing rules which could make it more attractive to investors.

Although making the leap from mysterious online rendering to completed project will require substantial time, effort, and money, the advertisement is an encouraging sign for this high-profile, long-neglected site.

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