It was gonna be fixed up. Then it stopped. Now it’s on again. And then some.
168 North Michigan Avenue hasn’t been one of the more glamorous buildings along the Magnificent Mile’s southern counterpart. (Millennium Mile? Cultural Mile?) The former Atlantic Bank Building was sold to its current owner, Oxford Hotels & Resorts back in December. That transaction followed the planned renovation of the building that started, then stalled, after a permit was issued in May of 2014.
The City of Chicago filed two new permits in May of this year, reflecting the new ownership, and also changing the general contractor to W.E. O’Neil.
And then last week, the Chicago Plan Commission approved not only the continuation of the renovation project, but also the addition of five more floors atop the existing 12, turning 168 North Michigan into a 210-room hotel. Chicago’s Hirsch Associates Architects designed the new portion.
“We are excited about turning a building that has sat vacant and in a state of disrepair for many years into a vibrant and exciting addition to Michigan Avenue and Millennium Park,” Hirsch Associates president Howard Hirsch told me. “The yet un-named hotel will have 210 rooms and a 2-story restaurant facing Michigan Avenue with a fully operable facade. The original building was designed by Marshall and Fox, and the new design restores the existing Terra-Cotta facade while adding a modern five-story addition to the top, and weaving the modern glass element throughout. Demolition and facade restoration is in progress. Permit for addition and interior work has been submitted to the City. Working towards a Spring 2018 opening.”
Mr. Hirsch sent a few renderings to share with you of the project, which, as he said, is already being renovated.