Redevelopment at the site of the former Cabrini-Green housing complex could include more than 480 mixed-income housing units, 32,900 square feet of retail space and 1.2 acres of public open space, according to the Chicago Housing Authority. This week, the CHA Board of Commissioners selected Texas-based Hunt Development Group to oversee the next phase of an ongoing redevelopment project at the former Cabrini-Green site. As the master developer, Hunt will collaborate with Imagine Group and nonprofit Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives to develop 6.9 acres near the intersection of Larrabee Street and Clybourn Avenue. The project is expected to feature a mix of one- to four-bedroom apartments and condominiums located within a 21-story residential tower and several connected mid-rise buildings and low-rise townhomes. A total of 482 units are planned for the site, including 183 units for CHA residents, 82 at affordable rents and 217 at market rates. Construction on the project is expected to begin in late 2018. “This is another example of the progress CHA is making with its development partners as we near the completion of the Plan for Transformation and work to transform neighborhoods,” CHA CEO Eugene Jones said in a statement. According to the CHA, nearly 2,400 housing units have already been constructed in the area surrounding the former Cabrini-Green site, along with approximately $350 million in neighborhood redevelopment initiatives. Those projects include new retail and com
Chicagoans are taking full advantage of February’s unseasonably warm weather, but record-high temperatures this early in the year have a downside: allergies. This week, Dr. Joseph Leija of Gottlieb Memorial Hospital released the hospital’s first allergy report of 2017, and he says the outlook is not good for people who suffer from these annoying springtime maladies. “It’s going to be a bad season that’s for sure,” Leija told WGN on Tuesday. “Many people are complaining… because the pollinating of the trees has been tremendous due to the weather being warm." Currently, the biggest problems are mold (low) and tree pollen (moderate), which Leija says is very unusual for mid-February. During allergy season (typically from April to October), Leija collects air samples from the roof of Gottlieb Professional Building every weekday morning. These samples are measured and used to produce daily allergy reports for the Chicago area, which are available on the hospital’s website or by calling 866-476-5536. Tuesday’s report was the earliest every released by Gottlieb, according to the hospital. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
Court Theatre and Writers Theatre both revealed the lineups for their 2017–18 seasons today; both are heavy on well-known titles, with only a single world premiere between the two. That premiere is the new musical Trevor (Aug 9–Sept 17), which will open Writers Theatre’s fall slate in a production with commercial aspirations and New York producers attached, as was first reported by the Chicago Tribune last month. Based on the 1994 Oscar-winning short film of the same name, Trevor centers on a gay teenager in the 1980s; the film was also the namesake for the Trevor Project, the nonprofit focused on suicide prevention for LGBT youth. The musical has a book and lyrics by Dan Collins and music by Julianne Wick Davis, and will be directed by Marc Bruni (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical). That's followed in Writers’ mainstage by the Oscar Wilde comedy The Importance of Being Earnest (Nov 8–Dec 23), staged by Writers artistic director Michael Halberstam. Two more chestnuts follow: Eugene O’Neill’s A Moon for the Misbegotten (Feb 7–Mar 18), directed by William Brown, and Sam Shepard’s Buried Child (May 9–June 17), directed by Kimberly Senior. Two plays will be staged in Writers’ smaller Gillian Theatre. The first, running September to December, remains to be announced. The second is the Chicago premiere of Smart People (Mar 21–June 10), a comedy by the Chicago-connected playwright Lydia R. Diamond that opened Off Broadway in 2016. Hallie Gordon, a frequent collaborator with Diam
Get ready for a surge in gas prices, Chicago. Industry analyst GasBuddy recently released its its annual outlook for 2017, and the cost of a gallon of gas in the city could get as high as $3.50 before it’s all said and done. The price hike, which typically occurs between mid-February and Memorial Day, is due to the seasonal transition from winter-blend to summer-blend gasoline. This year, it’s expected to hit large U.S. cities such as Chicago, New York and Los Angeles particularly hard. According to GasBuddy, these cities will be at $3 per gallon “very soon,” with a steady increase expected through late spring, early summer. Currently, a gallon of gas in Chicago is selling for $2.44 on average. “Overall, most areas will see peak prices under $3 per gallon, and while that’s far under prices a few years ago, watching prices surge every spring certainly brings heart burn with it," Dan McTeague, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, said in a statement. "If we were to add the five-year average increase we see during the spring, the national average would be thrust to $2.85 per gallon around Memorial Day, a 59-cent rise from the $2.26 per gallon observed Feb 9.” In the Great Lakes region and on the West Coast, prior year outages at refineries could add even more volatility and result in temporary spikes in gas prices. Despite the increase, the cost of gasoline won’t be anywhere near what it was in summer 2014. At the time, gas prices in the Chicago area were among the highest
Years from now, Chicagoans will regale their kids and grandkids about "the winter that never was.” Not only have we seen record-high temperatures this year (72 degrees in February! Really?), we are also currently in the middle of the longest stretch of days without at least an inch of snow. The last time Chicago saw more than an inch of snow was 67 days ago on Dec. 17, 2016, according to WGN. While climate scientists are busy determining if the city's record-breaking warmth is a sign of global warming, many Chicagoans are taking full advantage of the warm weather; here’s how: Break out the business casual beachwear. Whether you're someone with a ridiculously heavy winter coat or you're just that guy who's always looking for an excuse to wear shorts, there have been plenty of opportunities this month to take of your pants and jacket. Ditch the parka, put on your sandals and board shorts, and enjoy the spring-like weather while it lasts. Admire the lack of ice cover on the lakefront. Running is a tough sell, regardless of the temperature, but we'll try and make the case for a lakefront jog. Whether walking or running, the Lakefront Trail is a wonderful way to see Lake Michigan and take in the skyline. And if you're able to pick up the pace, this beautiful weather will definitely enhance your runner's high. Brave the crowded sidewalks. Not only are can get an early start on your beach bod, the great weather can help you save a little money on transportation. Instead of cramm
Northlight Theatre will keep it in the family for the 2017–18 season, the company’s 43rd. The five-play slate hitting the Skokie stage is composed entirely of works from playwrights Northlight has previously produced in the past decade. The season will open in the fall with the world premiere of Bruce Graham’s Sanctions (Sept 14–Oct 22), in which Mary Beth Fisher will play an academic administrator dealing with a college athletic program returning to big-money football after NCAA violations. Northlight artistic director BJ Jones helms his company’s fifth production by Philadelphia playwright Graham since 2011, following The Outgoing Tide, Stella & Lou, White Guy on the Bus and Funnyman. The Book of Will (Nov 9–Dec 17) recounts how members of William Shakespeare’s company managed to compile and publish the First Folio in the years after the playwright’s death. Jessica Thebus directs the Midwest premiere of Gunderson’s play, which is currently enjoying its debut at Denver Center Theatre, where it was commissioned. Gunderson co-authored Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, which Northlight premiered in November. Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew (Jan 25–Mar 4) follows the last workers at one of Detroit’s last auto plants at the beginning of the Great Recession. It's the final piece in Morisseau’s “Detroit Trilogy,” following Detroit ’67 and Paradise Blue; Ron OJ Parson, who directed Detroit ’67 at Northlight in 2013 and will stage Paradise Blue at TimeLine Theatre Company t
On Monday, protesters all across the nation took to the streets to participate in a series of Not My President's Day rallies, coinciding with the national President's Day holiday. The demonstration against Donald Trump was started by a group of L.A. activists, but quickly became a network of small rallies throughout the U.S. In Chicago, the protest took place in front of Trump Tower, with an estimated 800 people in attendance according to the Chicago Tribune. Attendees brandished clever signs and shouted slogans, expressing their discontent with the actions of the current administration. It might not have been as well-attended as the Women's March, but the message of frustration and anger was just as clear. Take a look at some photos from the rally below. A post shared by Erik_Uslan (@erik_uslan) on Feb 20, 2017 at 1:40pm PST A post shared by Headintheclouds_99 (@headintheclouds_99) on Feb 21, 2017 at 5:43am PST A post shared by Sus (@loona_su) on Feb 20, 2017 at 8:01pm PST A post shared by Jenny Stadelmann (@zjstadel) on Feb 20, 2017 at 8:15pm PST A post shared by Rob Walters (@rdwalters701) on Feb 20, 2017 at 7:25pm PST A post shared by Rosie (@rosieest) on Feb 20, 2017 at 5:24pm PST A post shared by Alice sun (@marshmallison) on Feb 20, 2017 at 12:53pm PST A post shared by Berber Prince (@loud_yan) on Feb 20, 2017
Ravenswood’s Empirical Brewery is expanding into Rogers Park. The beer maker, which opened a taproom at Ravenswood and Foster Avenues in 2015, will take over the former Act One Pub space at 1328 W Morse Ave, adjacent to the Mayne Stage theater. As reported Monday by DNAinfo, Empirical will lease both the restaurant space and a neighboring storefront, where it will set up a five-barrel beer system to produce on site. Unlike the brewery’s Ravenswood location, the new space will also serve a full food menu, as Act One did until closing last year, when Mayne Stage (owned by Col. Jennifer Pritzker’s management company, Tawani Enterprises) shifted to a private event space. Empirical is one of a growing number of craft beer outfits in and around Ravenswood, including Half Acre, Begyle, Band of Bohemia and Dovetail, but the new brewpub will be a first for Rogers Park, where it should be eagerly welcomed. The new pub is expected to be up and running by late spring. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
If you have yet to receive an invitation to Hollywood’s biggest night, you can still watch the Oscars in style. The 89th annual Academy Awards take place on February 26, and plenty of venues throughout Chicago will be hosting viewing parties. It's the perfect excuse to walk the red carpet (black tie and all) or just enjoy this year’s ceremony with someone other than your cat. At the very least, you'll have plenty of strangers to argue about the merits of La La Land with. Davis Theater: Walk down the red carpet and into the newly renovated Davis Theater for an exclusive Oscar-themed event. Janet Davies of ABC7 will host this viewing party, which includes drinks from Moet & Chandon and Half Acre Beer, dishes from celebrity chefs and Oscar ballots. Proceeds from the event will benefit the nonprofit Common Threads. (Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave, 6pm. $100–$150.) North Bar: Dress up or dress down at the Arts of Life Associate Board's third annual OscArts of Life fundraiser. This year's Academy Award-winning event will feature a “best dressed” movie-themed costume contest. (North Bar, 1637 W North Ave, 6–11pm. $10.) Logan Theatre: Get wrapped up in the glitz and glamour of the Oscars in the Logan Theatre Lounge. Not only will you get to watch the Academy Awards with other film buffs, you'll also play trivia, try your luck at red carpet bingo and fill out a ballot. (Logan Theatre, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave, 6pm. No cover.) Venue One: Chicago Scene magazine and the Life Creative
After such an abnormally glorious weekend (brought to you by climate change), we’ve been tricked into thinking it’s not even winter anymore. But don’t be fooled, Chicago—we’re just getting into the home stretch, and it’s going to get chilly again. But not to worry! On top of the free things to do and exciting openings in February, this week offers an awesome slate of things to do in Chicago. From an epic Game of Thrones concert to excellent new theater, you’ve got no excuse to stay cooped up in your apartment this week. 1. Dig into the classicsThe classics of ancient Greece and Rome have long influenced artists of all media, particularly painting and sculpture. The Smart Museum examines the interpretations of classicism in their latest exhibit. (Smart Museum of Art, 5550 S Greenwood Ave, Tue, Wed, Fri 10am–5pm, Thu 10am–8pm. Free.) 2. Catch a heartbreaking, semihistorical playChicago Shakespeare Theatre’s latest, The Book of Joseph, uses real letters from a Jewish family in Poland to tell their story of the Holocaust. Come prepared for chills. (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, 800 E Grand Ave, Tue–Fri 7:30pm, Wed 1pm. $38–$58.) 3. Travel back to 19th century France…without ever leaving River North, that is. The Driehaus Museum’s "L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters" examines the birth of the popular French prints at the turn of the century. (Richard H. Driehaus Museum, 40 E Erie St, Tue–Fri 10am–5pm. $20.) 4. See the latest at SteppenwolfPlaywright Yung Jean Lee e