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Proposed River North Apartment Building Is 'Dead,' Alderman Says

By David Matthews | September 9, 2015 3:12pm
 Renderings of a proposed 32-story tower at 353 W. Grand Ave. was shown to River North neighbors Monday.
Renderings of proposed 353 W. Grand development.
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RIVER NORTH — A Canadian developer's proposal to build a 32-story apartment complex at Grand Avenue and Orleans Street has been discarded, according to the Downtown alderman. 

Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd), whose ward oversees the would-be project site, told guests at a separate development meeting Tuesday that Onni Group's proposal presented in June isn't going anywhere. 

"My last communication to residents is the project's dead," Reilly said. 

The 330-unit proposal would have also included retail, 271 parking spaces and an amenity deck with a pool and cabanas. But neighbors came out in force to Onni's June meeting, saying the proposal would have cut into an alley they would have had to share with the new building, which would have also blocked their views.

Reilly added Tuesday that Onni, which is also building a 25-story tower at 750 N. Hudson Ave. and leading the 1,500-unit Atrium Village development at Division and Wells streets, has been circulating new plans among River North neighbors without the alderman's input. Aldermen wield great control over development in their wards, and out of courtesy, the full council usually won't vote on zoning changes or planned developments unless they have the support of the neighborhood alderman. 

Brian Brodeur, a Chicago-based development manager at Onni, declined to comment Wednesday on Reilly's remarks, but said his team still plans to build something at the site.

"We're still in talks and working with the alderman's office," he said. 

Richard Staback, president of the condominium association next to the development site, did not immediately return a message seeking comment. 

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