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After Delays, a Smaller Nobu Hotel Project Back on the Table in West Loop

By Stephanie Lulay | July 14, 2015 6:27am
 The Nobu Restaurant in Las Vegas.
The Nobu Restaurant in Las Vegas.
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WEST LOOP — After months of delays, a scaled down Nobu Hotel project proposal is heading to the Chicago Plan Commission this week.

Nobu developers now plan to construct a building with six stories plus a penthouse at Peoria and Randolph streets in the West Loop. If approved, an 83-room hotel and an 11,000-square-foot restaurant would be built at the site.

At 60,885-square-feet, the latest Nobu Chicago proposal is half the size of the 121,000-square-foot hotel developers originally planned to build.

The Japanese-themed boutique hotel and restaurant chain co-owned by actor Robert De Niro first announced plans to open a Chicago location in April 2014. Plans at that time called for 152 rooms to be developed at the vacant site. Later, a zoning application filed in January of this year called for 93 rooms to be built. Plans have since been modified.

Nobu developers now plan to build a six-story building plus penthouse at Peoria and Randolph streets in the West Loop. If approved, an 83-room hotel and an 11,000-square-foot restaurant would be built at the site. [DNAinfo]

The Chicago Plan Commission is slated to review the 854 W. Randolph St. project at 1 p.m. Thursday.

In June, zoning attorney Rolando Acosta sent a notice to neighbors stating that the new Nobu Hotel project would be reviewed by the Chicago Plan Commission at its June 18 meeting. When interested parties arrived at the meeting, city officials indicated that the application was in fact not on the Plan Commission's June agenda.

"The applicant inadvertently sent the notice," the city's statement read last month.

Stephanie Lulay says the project's size has been cut nearly in half:

Developers plan to build Nobu Hotel and Restaurant on a vacant site at Peoria and Randolph streets in the West Loop. [DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay]

If approved, the Nobu Hotel and Restaurant would be on Randolph's restaurant row, a part of the West Loop well known for its restaurants. 

Because so much of the project has changed since it was first introduced, Neighbors of West Loop leaders want developers to again meet with the community before the city signs off on the project, said Bob Aiken, vice president of the group.

"So much has changed since the original meeting," Aiken said.

Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th), who supports the Nobu Hotel project, said a new community meeting is not necessary. A majority of people who attended a meeting in June 2014 when the project was first introduced supported the project, he said.

"I've heard people's concerns and [the developer] has adjusted plans. It's a much smaller building," Burnett said.

The West Loop Community Organization and the West Central Association support the scaled down Nobu project. Armando Chacon, president of the association's board , said that the project will add more vitality to Randolph.

"I think there's still a little more sizzle than meat on the bone as it relates to Randolph. The additional foot traffic [the hotel would bring] would be welcomed by any business in the area," Chacon said. "Nobu is a highly regarded brand that will boost the image of the West Loop and Fulton Market District nationally."

In April 2014, Nobu officials planned to open the hotel in early 2016.

In addition to De Niro, chef Nobu Matsuhisa and film producer Meir Teper also own Nobu Hotel and Restaurant.

Mark Hunt is listed as president of 854 W. Randolph LLC, the group developing the hotel, according to zoning records.

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