It’s baaaaack! City is still considering migrant housing at Marina City — but not at the Hotel Chicago, alderman says

The former Museum of Broadcast Communications building at at 360 North State Street. | Google

Here we go again.

Plans to put a migrant shelter in the Marina City complex are not dead after all, Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) said in an email to his constituents Wednesday afternoon.

Reilly revealed on Monday that city leaders were looking at the possibility of housing over 1,000 migrants at the 354-room Hotel Chicago Downtown, a Marriott property situated steps from the House of Blues and Marina City residential towers.

But city officials quickly claimed not to know those plans, leading Reilly to say he was “glad” Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration had spiked the “horrendous idea.”

As it turns out, Johnson’s administration is looking to house migrants at Marina City, just not in the Hotel Chicago, Reilly said today.

“The Mayor’s Office was not entirely truthful with the media, because the Mayor’s Office IS considering a location inside the Marina City Complex at an address less than 100 feet away from the Hotel: the now vacant former Museum of Broadcast Communications located at 360 North State Street,” the alderman said in the email.

Reilly is renewing his “strenuous objections” to any migrant housing at Marina City.

Among other things, he said the former museum building was “not built to [provide] residential housing.”

He also “remains concerned about existing public safety issues in the neighborhood; the lack of amenities and social services for the migrant community; and the dismally poor performance of the migrant hotel located at the Inn of Chicago in Streeterville,” the email continued.

Reilly and Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) have called for the Inn of Chicago shelter, one of the city’s largest migrant facilities, to be shuttered when its contract expires at year’s end.

“Our office spoke with the new owner of 360 North State Street who confirmed that the Johnson Administration recently toured the space and expressed interest in potentially using the site for migrant housing,” said Reilly’s latest email. “We subsequently confirmed with our source in the Mayor’s Office that 360 North State Street is still being considered for migrant housing.”

The alderman is “disappointed” that Johnson’s press office “chose not to share this important information with the media earlier this week when they knew, full well, that the address immediately adjacent to the Hotel Chicago was (and remains) in consideration for use as a migrant hotel,” the message continued.

Reilly again encouraged constituents to voice their opposition to the housing plan:

If you agree with Alderman Reilly and oppose the Johnson Administration converting 360 North State Street into a migrant facility for as many as one thousand migrants, please email the following members of the Johnson Administration, with a cc to our office (objections@ward42chicago.com):

Mayor Johnson (bjmoc@cityofchicago.org, 312-744-3300) 

Deputy Mayor of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Beatriz Ponce de Leon (beatriz.poncedeleon@cityofchicago.org, 312-744-5501) 

First Deputy Chief of Staff, Cristina Pacione-Zayas (cristina.pacione-zayas@cityofchicago.org, 312-744-6280)
— Excerpt from an email from Ald. Brendan Reilly to his constituents on November 1, 2023
About Tim Hecke 291 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com