Is the South Loop About to Get Transformed Forever? 2 Starchitects Unveil New High Rises

This is a very busy week for new construction announcements with seemingly at least a half a dozen GreenZone building announcements made this week.

But none were more momentous than the two high rise projects announced for the South Loop.

The first building is a Rafael Vinoly designed 76-story tower at 113 E. Roosevelt that may be one or possibly two towers anchoring the south end of Grant Park at Roosevelt and Michigan (see below for renderings). There is a 2-acre parcel available there.

113 E Roosevelt proposed South Loop Towers Sep 24, 2015

From Curbed:

The project would be Crescent Heights’ first new construction project for Chicago, and the aim would be to “anchor the south end of Grant Park.” The almost modular looking project would be built in phases and could ultimately produce nearly 800 new apartments for the area. Because of the sheer scale of the development, the plan would include apartments of varying sizes, floor plans and prices. According to Viñoly, the plan would present a number of options for folks in different price ranges and needs, stating that the project is “not just an architectural idea, but an urban design idea.”

The second tower is Helmut Jahn’s 86-story condo/apartment building at 1000 S. Michigan Avenue that would have 506 residences and 598 parking spaces.

The rendering below is from JAHN- with the one on the left including the newly announced Vinoly towers.

1000 s michigan helmut jahn proposed building Sep 24, 2015

From Dennis Rodkin at Crain’s:

The exterior would be mostly clad in glass, with two vertical “zippers” running up the Michigan Avenue facade that contain inset, glass-railed balconies.

The developer’s proposal says the building would be 993 feet tall but shows a cap over the rooftop terrace that would reach 1,030 feet. At that height, the building would rank as Chicago’s fifth-tallest, after the Willis, Trump, Aon and Hancock towers. However, the planned Vista tower by Jeanne Gang is currently designed to be 64 feet taller Jahn’s.

What are your thoughts on the possibility of several new mega-high rises in the South Loop?

These are not your run-of-the-mill apartment building announcements.

21 Responses to “Is the South Loop About to Get Transformed Forever? 2 Starchitects Unveil New High Rises”

  1. In Sydney, they make developers do shadow studies on nearby public parks. I wonder what the shadow impact would be on Grant Park? The HJ building looks out of place. They need to step it back from the street before going up and lower it a bit.

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  2. Excellent news for the city. HJ tower does look out of place, but that could probably be said about any high-rise that was the first in its area – Willis Tower, AON Building, etc. We’ll get used to it. I am very glad prime sites near Grant Park are getting the attention they deserve vs. new towers in already condensed Gold Coast and River North.

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  3. @MJ – no! That is the opposite of what you need to do!

    effin NIMBY!

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  4. look at that gap between OMP and sears, looks even more ridiculous from a little north of that you need to build tall here

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/82/Chicago_sunrise_1.jpg

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  5. That poor loft building at 910 S. Michigan. There are a huge number of units that look south- into that U shaped courtyard. They will be completely blocked. They will likely see little natural light now (let alone “views.”)

    Never buy next to a parking lot or empty lot.

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  6. The North end of the park has one of the tallest condo buildings in North America in 340 On The Park. The Legacy, also on the north side of the park, is no slouch either.

    So why not book end it with a few super tall towers on the south end? It makes sense.

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  7. Neither of these proposed super-tall high-rise residential buildings contribute any positive attributes to Grant Park or the Chicago skyline, and likely require significant zoning concessions to obtain those heights. These extremely tall buildings, containing 500 and 800 units, are also too large to establish a true sense of community for their resident groups, and therefore often only attract only a transient revolving tenant base. Furthermore, this location, at Roosevelt and Michigan, still isn’t a true “upscale” address location.

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  8. http://i1039.photobucket.com/albums/a475/b0soleil/View2_zps2dxfyj5d.jpg

    here this picture details much more of what I’m talking about, look at that gap! This is with the vinoly building and vinoly himself in the photo lol

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  9. Proof positive that real estate development and investment is America’s new growth trajectory. Who needs a traditional job base? That is for suckers. This is the new economy. Build huge buildings, sell them and trade them just like a high frequency hedge fund manager would.

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  10. “likely require significant zoning concessions to obtain those heights”

    Admittedly I haven’t bothered to check to zoning, but I suspect that they are in the category of zoning which has no height limit (or, iirc, density limits either) so they can be built ‘as of right.’ I think the gap will be filled in by taller buildings further west above the tracks, perhaps even commercial/office towers.

    Impressive that there is that much confidence in the market, though I’m not hugely bowled over by either proposal – at least from only seeing these renderings.

    I thought Crescent Heights had already built something in Chicago or was that stymied by the bubble bursting?

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  11. The top is in. These won’t get financed and built in this cycle. Trump’s building has a better location and it took forever to move that many condo units. Maybe these will get done with EB-5 Chinese money. Crescent Heights is dialed into Israeli money (not allowed to question where it comes from).

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  12. Wouldn’t these mostly be rental units rather than condo?

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  13. “Trump’s building has a better location.” Trump is in a B location and were very overpriced, that’s why it took forever to move them. There will be market for these units, not a lot of park facing inventory right now.

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  14. Wouldn’t these mostly be rental units rather than condo?

    Yes. From what we know so far, the building(s) at the south end of Grant Park would be apartment rentals. The Helmut Jahn building would be a combination of rentals on the lower floors and condos on the upper floors- kind of like Aqua.

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  15. “Trump’s building has a better location and it took forever to move that many condo units.”

    These won’t be condos. That’s the whole point.

    Everyone knows that there are something like 8,000 other units either under construction or proposed to be built in the GZ, right? Most of those actually ARE getting built.

    As long as the rentals are absorbed and the rental occupancy rate remains near all-time highs, the banks will loan the money.

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  16. “Furthermore, this location, at Roosevelt and Michigan, still isn’t a true “upscale” address location.”

    I wonder if the homeowners who paid millions to live in One Museum Park would agree?

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  17. Semi-OT:

    “And here was the stunner in question: “We are seeing more globalization as Southern California has become a destination for international buyers,” said Mark Hughes, chief operating officer with First Team Real Estate, covering the Southern California market. “Eighty percent of new construction in Irvine last year was sold to Chinese buyers. International buyers are driving home prices up and sometimes out of reach for many local residents.””

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  18. “Eighty percent of new construction in Irvine last year was sold to Chinese buyers.”

    So, we’re talking about, what? 400? 800, maybe?

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  19. “Eighty percent of new construction in Irvine last year was sold to Chinese buyers. International buyers are driving home prices up and sometimes out of reach for many local residents.”

    This is nothing new. But it is clustered in a couple of towns and in a couple of neighborhoods in those towns. Unless you’re in Vancouver. There- it’s been happening for the past 7 or 8 years. It’s something like 30% of the Vancouver housing stock is sitting empty because of all the foreign buyers. Imagine those poor locals?

    This “globalization” is really just a very small percentage of the American market. Some Chicago realtors have told me that Chinese buyers were buying in the Gold Coast- but they wouldn’t even consider other neighborhoods, not even Lincoln Park, because they considered the Gold Coast “the best” and they only wanted to buy in the best. I doubt you’re finding many Chinese buyers up in Lakeview or Bucktown/Wicker Park, for instance.

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  20. Another semi-OT:

    “Almost 30% of all homes lost value in August from a year earlier, according to real estate company Zillow Group (XNAS:Z), down from a recent high of 65% in January 2009”

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  21. “It’s something like 30% of the Vancouver housing stock is sitting empty because of all the foreign buyers. Imagine those poor locals?”

    Yeah, it’s a total nightmare–neighborhoods where houses “should” be about $1 to 1.5m are like $4m+. It’a totally insane.

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