SEPT. 22 UPDATE:
Latsko confirmed the deal with Guinness, which is slated to open the taproom in 2023.
He also said he recently “switched gears” from plans for an office building on the site and is now talking with city officials about developing a residential tower with about 400 units instead.
“I didn’t move forward with the office building full-steam ahead because office (use) just hasn’t come across the tracks yet,” he said, calling the site “a natural for residential” development.
Latsko said he received a letter from the city’s Department of Planning & Development requesting that he go before the recently formed Committee on Design to hone plans for the project.
Chicago developer Fred Latsko has struck a deal with Irish beer brand Guinness to open a brewery and beer hall in a long-vacant Fulton Market District building while he lines up plans to build what could be one of the former meatpacking neighborhood’s tallest office buildings next door.
Guinness is poised to open the venue as part of a revival of the graffiti-clad former Pennsylvania Railroad Terminal building on the eastern edge of Latsko’s property at 375 N. Morgan St., according to sources familiar with the plans. Separately, a Latsko venture aims to develop a 33-story office building on the vacant western edge of the property near the corner of Morgan and Kinzie streets, according to a document submitted to City Council this month by 27th Ward Ald. Walter Burnett.
Details of each project remain unclear, and Latsko and Burnett couldn’t be reached for comment. A Guinness spokeswoman declined to comment. But the development plans stand to breathe life into a Fulton Market parcel that has sat largely fallow while the properties near it have been transformed with trendy offices, hotels and restaurants.
Fulton Market has proven to be just as magnetic for corporate users during the COVID-19 pandemic as it was before, with companies like Kimberly-Clark, Calamos Investments and other prominent names flocking to the corridor that Google, McDonald’s and Mondelez International already call home.
The Guinness project will establish a high-profile outpost for the beer brand in a fast-changing part of downtown that is rife with upscale places to dine and drink. Among the other recent additions to the neighborhood, veteran Chicago restaurant operator Billy Dec this month announced plans to open a location for his Sunda New Asian restaurant at 333 N. Green St., just a block from where Guinness is planning its venue.