Ald. Reilly not happy with Loyola plan for biz school, apartment building
by Fran spielman and Art golab Staff Reporters December 12, 2012 7:10PM
Updated: January 14, 2013 7:29AM
Against the wishes of the local alderman, Loyola University on Wednesday asked the city for zoning approval to build a 35-story, 367-unit apartment tower as well as a new 10-story business school on a blocklong stretch of State Street between Chestnut and Pearson in the Gold Coast neighborhood.
Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd), said he said he had cautioned the university not to introduce the development because it’s too dense for an already congested area.
“They’re covering a business school with a proposed, 35-story residential building on a very narrow site. A lot of work needs to go into making that a functional site, and I don’t think the initial design gets it done,” Reilly said. “I had asked them not to file that application until we had some time to work with the infrastructure departments and get a better sense of how the traffic would work. They chose to ignore that advice.”
Under the proposal, the apartment tower would go up on the southeast corner of Chestnut and State, currently the site of a surface parking lot and commercial structures including a shuttered Potash Brothers supermarket. A vintage five-story apartment building on the northeast corner of State and Pearson would be torn down to make way for the business school.
According to published reports, a private developer, Newcastle Ltd., intends to build the apartment tower starting late next year after purchasing the land from Loyola. But no mention of this was made in the zoning application.
Neither Loyola nor Newcastle responded to calls for comment. Planning documents state that the development will include ground-level shopping arcades in both buildings that “will enhance the pedestrian experience along State Street.”
If the sale to Newcastle goes through, proceeds will likely help finance the business school building, which Loyola has been planning for the location for some time. The new school also is being funded by a $40 million gift from Loyola alum Michael Quinlan, a former CEO of McDonald’s.
The apartment tower will include 185 parking spaces, accessed by an existing driveway off Chestnut. The business school will have no parking.