The Bentham is making progress in River North. But is it too much progress?

The Bentham, 146 West Erie Street in River North

The Bentham, a condo tower at 146 West Erie Street in River North, took awhile to get started. After demolition of the Erie-LaSalle Body Shop had been completed early in 2017, the site remained vacant for much longer than expected. A permit to begin construction was issued in July of 2018, and yet, no construction commenced. It looked like The Bentham was dead.

Alas, a tower crane permit in August of last year meant The Bentham must have a little life left in her yet. And sure enough, work had finally begun on the 15-story, 31-unit condo tower. By December of 2019, the tower had reached about six stories in height.

Uh oh.

You see, on July 2 of 2018 the City of Chicago issued a foundation permit that states, and I quote:

DIR. DEV. SERVICES PERMIT FOR FOUNDATION THROUGH LEVEL 3 (PHASE1) WITH ENCLOSED PARKING FOR 53 SPACES (47 REQUIRED @ 1.5/D.U) AT 1ST -3RD FLOOR AND RETAIL SPACE OF 3,132 SQ.FT AT 1ST FLOOR LEVEL. FOR A FIFTEEN (15) STORY RESIDENTIAL BUILDING WITH 31 RESIDENTIAL UNITS (4TH – 14TH FLOOR). THE RESIDENTIAL PART WILL BE SUBMITTED UNDER SEPARATE PERMIT (PHASE 11).

So that’s a problem. The phrase about the residential part being submitted under a separate permit apparently hasn’t been issued yet. The orange STOP WORK ORDER slapped on The Bentham December 13, 2019 means nothing more is going to happen here until a permit is issued for the full build. Let’s hope this was nothing more than eagerness to get those condos ready, and all parties involved are already on the road to restarting work.

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