Track proposed residential development

Old Post Office renovation proposal Phase 1 rendering from eastPlans for a massive 5.2 million-square-foot renovation and restoration of the empty Post Office at Canal and Van Buren, and accompanying new West Loop development are once again moving forward.

If approved by the City of Chicago, the project would turn the 2.7-million-square-foot hulk of a building into a bustling hub of activity.

The latest version of the plan was made public tonight (April 9, 2013) by Architect Joe Antunovich of Antunovich and Associates. The cost of the mixed-use development could run as high as .5 billion for the first phase alone.

Joe Antunovich of Antunovich and AssociatesThe developer behind the enormous project is the British company International Property Developers. It submitted plans for the enormous project to the city in December of 2012, and is hoping to get final approval from the city in the next couple of months. Tonight, IPD billed the project as “the rebirth of a landmark.”

In fact, the property is not an actual landmark now, but Antunovich said the developer would file for landmark status if the city gives the project the green light. The State of Illinois and the Chicago Park District have already reviewed the project, and both support the design. No public subsidies are being sought by the developer.

Old Post Office renovation proposal Phase 1 rendering from west“It’s a marvelous old building just waiting for someone to come and fix her up, ” Antunovich said.

The fix-up is planned for two phases. The first will concentrate on the old Post Office building, and the Holiday Inn at 506 West Harrison Street. The latter building would be demolished to make way for a parking structure with direct access to the CTA’s Clinton Blue Line platform.

From the parking structure (to the west of the Post Office building) walkways over six levels would connect directly to the old building. The Post Office would be completely renovated, including the grand lobby. When finished it will offer access to 800, 000 square feet of retail space.

The retail space will continue on the east of the building and run directly along the river, meeting the city’s holdback frontage requirements. Above the retail space in the old building will be four levels of parking, with residential units on the top floors. The building will be LEED-certified and include green space on the roof.

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The Promenade is a mixed retail-residential development that will replace the old Acme supermarket on a nearly 2-acre property at 200 N. Sycamore St.