The Loop in 2014
In 2014, the Loop flourished on every front.
As one construction project wrapped up, it seemed like half a dozen more were announced. Vacancies fell and employment was on the rise. We saw millions of people turn out to cheer on their favorite bands, inspiring young athletes, and limit-pushing daredevils. And around every corner, we celebrated some impressive milestones and anniversaries.
Here are a few of our favorite moments:
- The Loop was filled with the sounds of jackhammers and bulldozers in 2014. Work is progressing quickly on the Riverwalk extension, and just this month the new Maggie Daley Park opened. State Street was resurfaced for the first time in nearly two decades this fall. And a number of residential projects took shape, including the opening of OneEleven by Related Midwest this summer and the start of construction on Block Thirty Seven's massive apartment building and another major residential project at 200 N. Michigan Ave.
- Chicago Loop Alliance's Loop Placemaking Initiative transformed vacant parks, plazas, and alleys throughout the Loop with seating, programming, and art. Of note, ACTIVATE attracted 14,400 people to the Loop and generated an estimated $393,120 in economic impact downtown.
- The Loop's retail vacancies hit a 12-year low, dropping to 10.8 percent from 11.9 percent the year prior. On the jobs front, Loop employment hit an all-time high, with nearly 542,000 people working in the downtown area.
- A number of our friends celebrated anniversaries this year. July marked the 10th anniversary of Millennium Park, while two of our favorite theaters—the Goodman and Auditorium—turned 90- and 125-years-old, respectively.
- The Loop hosted millions of people for thousands of events (too many to count!). Some of the more notable ones were Lollapalooza, Grant Park Music Festival (which also celebrated an anniversary this year—80 years), and the Columbus Day Parade, which returned to State Street for the first time since the 1970s. Thousands of fans took to State Street to cheer on the Jackie Robinson West All Stars as they played an inspiring game in this year's Little League World Series. And in November, millions worldwide watched (with sweaty palms) as daredevil Nik Wallenda walked a tightrope not once—but twice—50 stories above the Loop.
- And many more!
Thank you for giving us a reason to celebrate the Loop this season. Happy holidays!
(Photos: Discovery Channel / DCASE, Dillon Goodson, Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 200 N. Michigan Ave.)