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Loyola to build new business school, apartment building in Gold Coast

Artist rendering proposed new Loyolbusiness school new student dormitory project. | Provided Illustration

Artist rendering of the proposed new Loyola business school and new student dormitory project. | Provided Illustration

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Updated: April 28, 2013 6:38AM

Loyola University got the go-ahead Tuesday to build two new buildings in Chicago’s congested Gold Coast: a new $67 million school of business and a 35-story residential tower on an adjacent surface parking lot.

The 10-story business school will be located on the northeast corner of State and Pearson. It will bear the name of former McDonald’s CEO Michael R. Quinlan, whose $40 million donation to his alma mater — the largest in the school’s history — helped make the project possible.

The newly branded Quinlan School of Business will replace an existing business school that will be converted into a downtown library for Loyola students. Quinlan currently serves as chairman of Loyola’s board of directors.

The 35-story residential building — with 367 market-rate apartments — will be built on the southeast corner of State and Chestnut on a Loyola-owned surface lot sold to a private developer to help bankroll the new business school. The sleak new residential tower will have only 162 parking spaces.

The City Council’s Zoning Committee approved the massive expansion of Loyola’s downtown campus after dozens of community meetings triggered more than 13 design changes.

A sidewalk arcade was added along State Street to “enhance the pedestrian experience,” according to Loyola attorney Jack Lawler. The “exterior skin” of the residential tower was changed — from reflective glass to metal and glass. Campus security officers will be relocated to a now-shuttered liquor store at Chicago and State, cleaning up the area.

A groundbreaking for both projects is scheduled for this fall. The new business school is expected to open in late summer 2015.

“Despite one of the longest real estate downturns in our nation’s history, this project is an opportunity to enhance a world-class business school, place tax-exempt [property] containing 22,000 square feet back on the tax rolls and create approximately 270 construction jobs,” Lawler said.

Loyola spokesman Wayne Magdiarz said the university has bent over backward to minimize the impact on an already congested area.

“We’re not adding student residential units here. We’re not adding really new academic space here. We’re adding better academic space for our business school. And as far as the residential building is concerned, [we’re] making sure all of our loading and deliveries and traffic are off the street and don’t impact Chestnut Street and that the building is a transit-oriented development” with fewer parking spaces, he said.

Before the final vote, Gold Coast resident Ignazia Angela Daidone expressed concern that the proposed sidewalk arcade would create a haven for the homeless to sleep and criminals to lurk.

Those fears were not shared by Susanne Smith, board president of a residential building at 21 E. Chestnut that has embraced the project.

“They’re gonna be partners with us improving the loading that’s happening on our street,” Smith said.

“We don’t want a dark alley, so we’re talking about the possibility of having a decorative security gate that will be closed during the late evening hours for safety. ... If that’s not allowed [by the Fire Department], we’ll use security cameras. There’s also gonna be increased patrols by Loyola officers. At Chicago and State, they’re gonna put a police outpost to help with that area. We feel they’re really gonna help us with our security.”

That view was shared by Aldermen Bob Fioretti (2nd), whose newly drawn ward represents the project, and Brendan Reilly (42nd), whose old boundaries included it. Both embraced the projects.

“The developers and Loyola have made some significant changes in the program and designs,” Fioretti said.

Reilly noted that Chestnut and State is a haven for illegal loading at any hour of the day.

“Semi-trailers literally parking in the middle of Chestnut Street serving multiple properties and frankly creating major traffic impacts. ... How are you looking to mitigate that issue?” Reilly said.

Magdiarz replied that, instead of backing trucks into loading docks of the new residential building, exacerbating an “already horrific” loading situation on Chestnut, the project was re-designed to allow all loading to take place on the property.

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