Onni Group wants to bank on Bally’s planned casino with $1.1B project

Working to develop three towers with 2,500 apartments near Chicago Tribune’s Freedom Center

Onni Shapes $1.1B Project Near Bally’s Chicago Casino Site
Onni Group’s Duncan Wlodarczak with rendering of Halsted Landing (LinkedIn, Goettsch Partners, Getty)

As the Chicago Tribune’s press operators vacate the Freedom Center to make way for Bally’s 30-acre casino complex, developers are working to capitalize on the forthcoming project. 

Canada-based Onni Group is chugging along in its pursuit of a riverfront development near the planned casino, unveiling renderings for the $1.1 billion project, dubbed Halsted Landing, Crain’s reported. Onni’s three-phase plan calls for nearly 2,500 apartments across four towers, along with retail, green space, an amphitheater and a water taxi stop. 

The project’s future is still up in the air, though, as the Chicago Plan Commission deferred the proposal at a recent meeting. If it’s ultimately approved by city council, construction could begin in early 2029, with completion projected for 2037. 

The first phase would feature two residential towers totaling 688 units and a public elevator to the riverwalk. The project promises 190 affordable units and a $17.8 million contribution to the city’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, which finances commercial and cultural projects in neighborhoods that lack private investment.

Halsted Landing is one of several proposed projects near the future 1 million-square-foot casino and hotel complex, for which Bally’s is seeking $800 million in private funding to kickstart construction. 

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Just north of the site of Halsted Landing, Onni Group is spearheading Halsted Pointe, a five-tower development that will include 2,650 housing units, a 300-key hotel, retail and over 100,000 square feet of green space. Construction of the 2.7 million-square-foot project started last year.

Separately, Shapack Partners is pursuing a development with more than 2,200 apartments and a hotel near the casino site. 

As the planned casino turns nearby properties into prime real estate, landlords are looking to cash out. Monroe Residential Partners, for instance, sold a 36-unit apartment building in the area last year for $11 million, or almost $310,000 per unit.

Meanwhile, the Freedom Center recently printed its final edition of the Chicago Tribune. The publication will relocate its printing operations to a facility in Schaumburg next month, the outlet reported

—Quinn Donoghue 

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