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Loyola University Begins Demolition of Former Carmen's Building

By Benjamin Woodard | January 19, 2015 12:32pm
 Demolition has begun at the former Carmen's building at 6566 N. Sheridan Road.
Demolition has begun at the former Carmen's building at 6566 N. Sheridan Road.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

ROGERS PARK — Loyola University began demolition of the former Carmen's building on North Sheridan Road where the school and a developer plan to erect a six-story, 145-room Hampton Inn.

Crews blocked off a portion of the sidewalk Monday morning outside 6566 N. Sheridan Road after heavy equipment showed up over the weekend.

A excavator was seen tearing down the rear section of the two-story building. A permit for the work was issued Wednesday to National Wrecking Co., according to city records.

The demolition work is expected to be completed by the end of the month, said Steven Christensen, a Loyola spokesman.

Ald. Joe Moore (49th) plans to host a public meeting about the hotel plans at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Loyola's Bremner Lounge, 1225 W. Loyola Ave.

The university has partnered with Atira Hotels, which intends to build and manage the Hampton Inn, a hotel chain owned by Hilton Worldwide. The first floor would include 10,000 square feet of retail space in about five storefronts managed by Loyola, according to preliminary plans.

The vacant university-owned building that formerly was Carmen's Pizza would be torn down to make way for the development. The university wanted to buy the adjacent two-story building that houses Bruno's Lounge, but the owner refused offers to sell, university officials said.

The hotel would need several concessions from the city and Moore. First, the Plan Commission would need to approve construction near the lakefront. Second, the Zoning Board of Appeals would need to approve several special-use permits, for on-site loading, accessory parking and for the operation of the hotel.

The City Council also needs to approve two-way traffic on Albion up to the alley (about half-block), a loading zone on Albion and use of the existing public alley to access the parking lot to the west.

A left-turn arrow would also be added to the traffic light at Sheridan and Albion with approval from the Chicago Department of Transportation.

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