|drawing by OWK Architects, via Curbed Chicago
Some commenters were very much in favor of the population density that a mixed-use tower would bring. Others opposed it for a variety of reasons.
But the thing is, it's apparently just a rendering, at least for the time being. Curbed Chicago said in its article, "it’s important to note that rendering and information shared on OWK’s page is little more than a design exercise showing what could be built at the site. Should the property owner decide to pursue such a project in earnest, an extensive public engagement process and requisite zoning change would likely need to first take place."
By evening, the entire thing had vanished from the website of the design firm. Poof! Not available to the public any longer.
We heard from a source who's knowledgeable about the way real estate works in Chicago. She says:
"I saw the Curbed Chicago reference on your Facebook page, but I don't think they did their homework on the zoning.In other words, it may happen someday, but don't expect to see it in the near future.
Pensacola Place is zoned Planned Development 132. The ordinance creating this PD district was recorded on the City Council Journal on May 7th, 1975. Based on the regulations of the PD, the total site area allows for a maximum of 1,258 dwelling units and a maximum 285,000 square feet of commercial space.
So basically, Waterton [the owner of Pensacola Place, which includes the Jewel, the gym, and the parking lot] has the zoning in place to explore full development potential of the site. However, Jewel and the Gym's leases do not expire until 2025 so any development would have to be done with cooperation from both major tenants."