Special to Chicago Construction News
Chicago’s skyline is poised for a dramatic transformation with the start of the 400 N. Lake Shore Dr. project in Streeterville. Originally unveiled in 2018, the development, led by Related Midwest and designed by the architecture firm SOM, is set to replace the vacant site left by the Chicago Spire. With financing secured and a tower crane permit issued, the project’s first phase is moving forward, signaling a new era in Chicago’s architectural landscape.
The two-phase development has secured more than $500 million in funding, partly through tax-exempt bonds from the Illinois Housing Development Authority. The involvement of major financial players like Wells Fargo, along with significant equity contributed by Related Midwest, underscores the project’s financial viability and the confidence of investors in its potential.
Chicago Yimby reports that the north tower, to be constructed first, will include 635 residential units, 127 designated as affordable housing. This aspect of the project not only addresses the need for inclusive urban living but also makes it eligible for crucial tax breaks, a key factor in its construction strategy.
The exterior design of the north tower has evolved significantly from its initial proposal. Now featuring Chicago-style bay windows with metal panel detailing, the building’s design echoes the rippling surface of Lake Michigan. The tower’s tapering structure, culminating in a crown and terraces, alongside a two-story podium clad in white brick, showcases innovative architectural techniques.
BOWA Construction, along with LR Contracting, will build the project, including below-grade work followed by vertical construction that demonstrates the complex logistical planning inherent in such a large-scale urban development.
A standout feature of this project is the inclusion of about 4.5 acres of green space. This includes an extension to the existing riverwalk leading to the 3.3-acre DuSable Park, designed by Ross Barney Architects. The commitment to public-accessible green spaces highlights a growing trend in urban development, where nature and city life coexist.
The development’s impact extends beyond its immediate footprint, with the construction of new pedestrian lanes connecting the riverwalk to the Ogden Slip. This effort to enhance urban connectivity is a critical aspect of modern city planning and development.
While the overall development, including a shorter south tower, is estimated to cost around $1 billion, plans remain adaptable to market demands.
With a projected completion by Spring 2027, the development’s timeline includes extensive below-grade work starting in early 2024, transitioning to above-grade construction by early 2025, and final landscaping and completion expected by late 2027. This timeline reflects the complexity and scale of the project, offering a glimpse into the future of Chicago’s skyline.
Combining innovative design, strategic financing, and a commitment to public spaces, this development is set to become a landmark in Streeterville. As we look towards its completion, 400 N Lake Shore Drive represents the future of urban living, where architecture, community, and nature intertwine to create a vibrant, inclusive cityscape.
DataBid is currently reporting on this project – 400 North Lake Shore Drive Sister Towers – Chicago (0048090816)