Detailed plans for Shapack‘s West Town megadevelpmont now dubbed “NOMA” have been reviewed by the Committee on Design for advisory guidance and recommendations. The proposed 3.25-acre assemblage in the River West area would yield 1,500 new residential units, a hotel, and a range of new commercial offerings like retail and dining.
The assemblage revolves around the former Salvation Army Building, which Shapack plans to integrate by converting the structure into a 141-key hotel and restaurant venue envisioned by Eckenhoff Saunders Architects. The existing multi-tone masonry facade will be refurbished and have its windows replaced, and a new masonry penthouse enclosure will be added atop a portion of the roof.
The masterplan would comprise of four parcels, labeled A, B, C, and G, across five city blocks.. Shapack is working with New York-based firm ODA to envision three different versions of the buildings’ massings, two of which have four towers and one having five. The four-tower options each have one substantially taller skyscraper breaking into the 600 to 700-foot range. The first option extend from an L-shaped footprint with setbacks on each wing to create a tapering effect. The second variation also makes use of the L shape, except with one of its wings inverted to cantilever rather than step in.
The final five-tower version would split Parcel G floor into two shorter buildings of differing heights. The taller of the pair would be located on the north end of the block and also utilize the cantilever-out/step-in pattern. The shorter second tower would bend at its center in a wide V shape.
As outlined in Urbanize’s in-depth overview, the scheme will be heavily geared towards walkability and public spaces. Shapack is spearheading a new network of corridors throughout multiple blocks in West Town and West Loop known as The Mews.
Loosely resembling a smaller, modern, and more open version of the Chicago Pedway, the Mews concept is already being applied just to the south at two adjacent Shapack projects: the completed 167 N Green Street and the City-approved 170 N Green Street. Making up their own interconnected system, the linking corridors not only serve as pedestrian thoroughfares, but also new micro-destinations in the form of retail, dining, plazas, and park spaces.
With three other large masterplans also in the planning processes (Lincoln Yards, Halsted Pointe, and the city-selected casino/entertainment district) and an assortment of single-building projects, the North Branch corridor is beginning to take shape as a new arm of the Chicago skyline. The emerging density of this area will be bolstered by existing public transit infrastructure and future improvements to the system. Just to the northwest of NOMA, bus service for Routes 8, 56, and 65, along with the Blue Line’s Grand Station, are oriented around the intersection of Grand, Milwaukee, and Halsted.
As of now, Shapack is consulting with the Chicago Department of Transportation over the viability of different aspects of The Mews, while also taking into consideration the committee’s various points such as its skyline impact and potential for architectural experimentation. The developer will also require an approval for the submitted zoning application, as well as approvals from the Chicago Plan Commission, Committee on Zoning, and ultimately the Chicago City Council. Currently, a completion timeline has not yet been revealed.