WICKER PARK — A concrete barrier and pedestrian walkway that significantly narrowed a congested strip of Milwaukee Avenue at Wicker Park's busiest intersection during construction on neighboring boutique hotels is finally gone.
The barrier protected pedestrians from ongoing construction on the 12-story Northwest Tower, soon to become "The Robey" boutique hotel.
Erected on June 24, 2014, the barrier and walkway were removed on Monday.
Pepper Construction built the temporary barrier, which was approved by the Chicago Department of Transportation and intended to be removed at the completion of construction.
A spokesman for Convexity Properties, the developer of the multimillion dollar renovation project that received city tax relief incentives in 2014, described the removal of the barrier as "a small but significant milestone."
Both The Robey and The Hollander are now taking reservations for a Nov. 30 opening. Take a peek inside both hotels.
Located at the intersection of Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues in Wicker Park/Bucktown, the entrances to the hotels will be on North Avenue.
The Robey's address in the Northwest Tower is 2018 W. North Ave., while The Hollander, located in a rehabbed warehouse, is at 2022 W. North Ave.
Earlier this year, protective scaffolding that shrouded the base of the tower and darkened the intersection for several years was also removed — another milestone.
Back in June 2014, the Convexity Properties spokesman was unsure how long the barrier would be up.
"At this stage it is a little too early to tell when the barrier will be taken down, but of course our goal is to work as quickly as possible so that we can finish our project and return the intersection to normal operation," the spokesman previously said.
The hotels initially aimed to open in June 2015.
An estimated 250 construction and 150 permanent jobs will be created as a result of the project, the city said.
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