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Wolf Point vote on hold after plan for 1,800 hotel rooms surprises alderman

A city agency’s vote on a three-tower development plan for Wolf Point was deferred Tuesday after a downtown alderman complained that the project’s investors introduced last-minute details.

Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) said the developers submitted documents to the city in which they asked for plans to put up to 1,800 hotel rooms on the site. The request did not reflect terms negotiated with Reilly and neighborhood groups that called for the buildings to contain a mix of residential, office and hotel uses.

The Wolf Point project was due for a hearing Tuesday before the Chicago Plan Commission, which reviews major developments. The commission deferred action at Reilly’s request and the matter could be heard Dec. 20.

Reilly, frustrated over the turn of events, said the developers’ “lack of clarity and introduction of all those hotel keys” require him to bring the proposal back to neighbors for review.

The alderman said he suspects the developers inserted 1,800 rooms as a theoretical maximum for hotel rooms and do not intend to build that many. “But in the interest of transparency, this has to go back to the neighbors,” said Reilly, who has presided at two community hearings on the project.

The developers includes Chicago’s Kennedy family and Hines Interests LP. They could not immediately be reached for comment. The Wolf Point site is just west of the Merchandise Mart and where the Chicago River divides into two branches.

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