Even as Smithfield's MOMO condo tower continues to reach new heights a block to the south, another site at the northeast corner of State and Lake streets has remained an ugly, empty scar for over a year. A building that was once home to Chicago's legendary Fritzel's restaurant, but which lived its final years as a fast food ghetto - KFC, Taco Bell, Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins - beneath a succession of empty office floors above, was demolished late last year. An announced condo development never got off the ground, and since then the only activity on the excavated site has been the retention of rubble and rainwater.
On Friday, Crain's Chicago Business carried a story indicating that this may be about to change. Developer ECD is putting together funding to construct a 26-story, 298 room hotel on the property at a cost of up to $100,000,000. Part of the Doubletree chain, the hotel is to be called the Wit. I'm not quite sure where that name comes from, but since the death of Algonquin Round Table, God knows our hotels could use a fresh dose of Wit.