Last year AN broke news of plans for the first residential high-rise on Chicago's North Michigan Avenue in decades. Last Friday, James McHugh Construction Company and Pepper Construction Company broke ground on the 41-story tower at 200 N. Michigan Ave., which is expected to be complete in mid-2016. At 411 feet tall, the $155 million building will house 402 high-end residential units, as well as 22,000 square feet of retail on the first- and second-floor frontages along Michigan Avenue and Lake Street. The podium also includes a parking structure with 125 stalls, which designers bKL Architecture said will be screened tastefully to respect the storied downtown location's active streetscape. The site is adjacent to the Daniel Burnham–designed Carbide and Carbon building, and bKL's renderings show green glass that references the art deco landmark next door. Mullion patterns on the north and south faces of the apartment tower add texture to the facade, while the eastern-facing profile is kept purposefully minimal, according to bKL, in deference to the classic facades of Michigan Avenue.
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The landmarked Chicago Athletic Association will soon be home to a boutique hotel designed by Roman and Williams, whose Ace Hotel in New York opened to acclaim in 2009. Developed by AJ Capital Partners and Commune Hotels & Resorts, the 240-room hotel will include a large ballroom converted from the existing gym and running track, as well as a large greenhouse on the roof. The historic second-floor drawing room will serve as a “living room for a new generation,” Roman and Williams said in a statement, while a new sports room/pool hall/bar will call back to the Athletic Association’s past. “Our reverence for this monumental building cannot be overstated, but we want to breathe a new life into it, to care for it without treating it like a relic,” the firm stated in a press release. Located at 12 S. Michigan Ave., the Venetian Gothic building opened in 1893. Architect Henry Ives Cobb imbued the classy lakefront-facing club with a facade reminiscent of the Doges Palace in Venice. Ornate marble details flow throughout the interior. The project is expected to open in late 2014.