Chicago Plan Commission clears way for $700 million in downtown high rise projects

525 S. Wabush ave
Rendering of 525 S. Wabush Ave.

The Chicago Plan Commission has approved four high-rise towers downtown, representing $700 million in investment. It also gave the go-ahead for a five-tower project (to be built over the next two decades) on Goose Island.

The decisions were made at a marathon virtual Aug. 26 meeting lasting more than eight hours.

The commission approved a two-tower proposal for a hotel and residences at 525 S. Wabash Ave. The buildings, to be connected by retail space including a food store, would replace a parking garage and a surface parking lot, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The agency also supported a project to build two residential towers (1,056 units) at 601 W. Monroe St. The site is currently a parking lot.

The Wabush project would see 777 residential units, with 78 of them defined as affordable. Interforum Holdings from Northfield is the developer.

Meanwhile, Pacific Reach Properties plans two towers on Monroe, at 47 and 50 stories. The developer proposes improvements to the neighbouring Heritage Green Park and will provide 105 affordable units (26 on-site).

At Goose Island’s south end (901 N. Halsted. St.) Omni Group proposes 2,650 homes and 300 hotel rooms. The overall investment will be $1.3 billion over 20 years, the developers say, and the tallest building would be 691 ft. high. This will be a radical change in use for the site, currently a Greyhound bus maintenance center.

The Sun-Times reported there wasn’t much controversy at the meeting about these projects, but there were several public observations about the redeveloping of the former Sears store at Irving Park Road and Cicero Avenue.

Jake Paschen, Novak’s executive vice-president, said his firm wanted to demolish the old Sears in favor of a one-story retail plaza. But the area wanted the building saved and the plan as presented makes the most economic sense, he said.



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