Landmark Designation, Tax Incentive Proposed for Former Chicago & North Western Building

February 19, 2020

The $137 million adaptive reuse of the former headquarters for the Chicago & North Western Railway Co. would be supported by an official Chicago landmark designation and property tax incentive introduced to City Council today.

Completed in 1905, the building at 226 W. Jackson Blvd. is considered one of the Loop’s finest structures designed in the Classical Revival-style. It served as the railroad’s main office until 1929. More recently, the building served as the central office for the City Colleges of Chicago.

The building was purchased in 2019 for $32.7 million by Phoenix 226 Central Loop Owner LLC, which is converting it into a 350-room, dual-branded Hilton hotel. Improvements are planned to include new room configurations and entrances; upgraded mechanical and fire protection systems; masonry and window repairs; a one-story rooftop addition; and a replacement cornice.

An estimated 460 construction and 340 permanent jobs would be created by the project, which is expected to be completed by the summer of 2021.

The proposed Landmark designation, recommended by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks last week, would protect its exterior features from significant alteration or demolition.

The proposed Class L property tax incentive, which encourages the preservation and rehabilitation of landmark structures, would reduce property taxes on the building by approximately $20 million over the next 12 years.

Designed by the Chicago firm of Frost and Granger, the 14-story structure is clad in light-grey granite with brick and terra cotta accents and an entrance flanked by two large Doric columns. Its formal elegance reflects the prominent role that railroads played in the development of Chicago as a transportation, commerce and manufacturing center.



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