Landmark Tax Incentives Approved For Restaurant Redevelopment In River North

Rendering of upcoming Hawksmoor restaurant via Commission on Chicago Landmark

Tax incentives have been approved by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks for the redevelopment of the LaSalle Street Cable Car Powerhouse at 500 N LaSalle Drive in River North. Located on the northwest corner with W Illinois Street adjacent to the recently completed 448 N LaSalle office building, the structure will once again become a restaurant from an overseas operator. London-based Hawksmoor will convert the space into a new steakhouse with an undisclosed designer.

Site context map of LaSalle Street Cable Car Powerhouse via Google Maps

Built in 1887 for $35,000 by the North Chicago Street Railroad Company, the three-story structure once housed the engines that pulled over two-miles of cables across the Near North Side and The Loop moving around 100,000 workers per day. At its peak in the 1890’s the Chicago cable car system was the nation’s largest with more than 82 miles of track fueled by multiple powerhouses like this. By 1906 all of the city’s cable car’s were electrified and many powerhouses were obsolete, however this one remained.

View of previous Michael Jordan Restaurant via Wikipedia

Becoming a Chicago Landmark in 2001, it has most recently held Michael Jordan’s restaurant and then a Gino’s East pizza before closing and leaving the space vacant for multiple years. Hawksmoor will be turning the 16,500 square-foot space into their second US outpost with a focus on a central bar and the structure itself. While plans aren’t fully public, the restaurant group has expressed their desire to restore many of the original elements of the building while renovating its kitchen and all of the guest-areas.

View of LaSalle Street Cable Car Powerhouse via City of Chicago

The Class-L Property Tax Incentive itself will last for 12-years and facilitate the restaurant’s construction; with this their building assessments are reduced to 10-percent for the first 10-years, 15-percent for year 11, and 20-percent in year 12. As the restaurant prepares to commence construction on the property, no further information has been made public on the design but we can expect an opening in the first half of 2024.

Subscribe to YIMBY’s daily e-mail

Follow YIMBYgram for real-time photo updates
Like YIMBY on Facebook
Follow YIMBY’s Twitter for the latest in YIMBYnews


3 Comments on "Landmark Tax Incentives Approved For Restaurant Redevelopment In River North"

  1. Steve River North | June 9, 2023 at 9:25 am | Reply

    That is awfully big for one restaurant. Which i believe was the problem for the last 2 owners. And I am sure the haters of RNRA will oppose this for “noise” issues.

  2. Let us not forget that this place was also home to nightclub LaSalle Power Co. Once left my card there on a Saturday night and had to wait until Thursday to deal with the awkwardness of getting it back.

  3. Peter Anagnos | June 9, 2023 at 4:37 pm | Reply

    At that size and location a restaurant is a very difficult operation for sustainability.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.