There should be a hotel standing at 320 South Clinton by now. Guests should be having Beggar’s Pizza delivered to their rooms from next door, then stopping around the corner for breakfast at Lou Mitchell’s in the morning. Then returning to their rooms to watch construction across the street on the new Union Station Tower. But nope. What was supposed to be the Toyoko Inn Chicago is still an empty lot, albeit an empty lot with enough caissons sunk into the ground to support the weight of a 24-story hotel.
The only progress made at the Toyoko is a small hole in the ground where the foundation may (or may not) have been started. It can’t be a pool; all that rebar sticking up would be extremely prohibitive to swimming. And diving would be downright dangerous. What I don’t know is how recently that hole was created.
So what gives? Will Toyoko Inn Chicago ever happen? Is the hole a sign it’s happening now? Is this still even going to be the Toyoko still? Or is the site destined to the purgatory that is Spireville? More questions than answers, I have.