Gold Coast condo owners prepare to throw down over proposed 43-story tower

Fifield Companies plans a 406-unit building on an empty parking lot next to the Gold Coast Galleria, and it’s infuriated residents

TRD CHICAGO /
Jun.June 26, 2020 01:31 PM
Fifield Companies CEO Steve Fifield, the Gold Coast Galleria at 111 W. Maple St. in Chicago

Fifield Companies CEO Steve Fifield, the Gold Coast Galleria at 111 W. Maple St. in Chicago

NIMBYs on the Near North Side are trying to stymie Fifield Companies from building a 43-story residential high-rise on a parking lot next to the Gold Coast Galleria condominium tower at 111 W. Maple Street.

Residents at the Galleria are opposing the proposed 406-unit building, which they say is too large, would block sunlight and airflow, create traffic and drastically reduce property values. The towers would be separated by an alley that both buildings use to access their parking garages, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“We’re shocked that it’s 20 feet away, which is obnoxiously close,” said Wolfgang Suess, the treasurer of the condo board association who also happens to be a real estate broker and investor. “They would be making money at the expense of well over 100 units that would have to look directly into their building.”

The condo board association plans to fight the proposal at “every step of the process,” Seuss told the Tribune.

It’s not far-fetched that local politicians would take their side. Mere blocks away, 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins in September rejected Newcastle Ltd.’s plan for a 368-unit building at 1120 to 1130 N. State St. following complaints from Near North Side neighbors, who similarly complained of density, size and design issues.

Fifield, which has built at least four apartment high-rises in Chicago in recent years, plans to buy air rights from the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral that would contribute toward zoning, according to the Tribune. Fifield also plans to add a 12-story community center and parking structure for the church.

Hopkins said that “generally I’m not sympathetic to opposition based on views,” but added that there are “legitimate objections, and I don’t think this will be an argument about views.”

Formal community meetings have not yet taken place. [Tribune]James Kleimann


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