— A plan for a new downtown is about to get some attention, and it’s one that’s already in the works.
Urbanization Construction is planning a $1 billion project to build a downtown with new streets, a downtown hotel, restaurants and apartments.
Urbanization Construction President Jeff Bittner says that’s in response to an increasing demand for housing and businesses along the Chicago River.
Bittner said the project has been in the making for more than a decade.
He says the project is an important step to meet the needs of the region’s growing population.
Urbanizing Construction is currently working on plans for a 1.2 million-square-foot hotel at the corner of Illinois and Wisconsin avenues.
It will include restaurants, retail and a new pedestrian plaza, all part of a new plan to create a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly urban environment.
Urbanized Construction’s project includes an expanded hotel and two apartments at the former Cabela’s in the old CTA building on the southwest corner of Michigan and North avenues.
The project also includes a new plaza and pedestrian walkway along Michigan and Wisconsin, and a plaza and plaza area on Michigan.
Bettner said that, over time, the project will add a hotel, an apartment and more retail to the neighborhood.
The first phase of the project, which is about a quarter of the way through the design process, will be built at the old Chicago Theater, which was demolished and rebuilt as the Chicago Museum of Art.
The theater will have about 200 rooms and restaurants, including restaurants that are owned by Urbanization.
Bettson said the city is looking for a project to help revitalize the area.
He said that there’s a strong need for new buildings, and Urbanization’s project will create a strong anchor for the neighborhood.
“The city needs to find a way to support a downtown that is more urban and a downtown where people are moving around more, so we’re going to continue to do our part,” he said.