Green Light For New Loop Skyscraper and Office Building

73 East Lake Street

It’s been flying mostly under the radar for the last year or so, but now there’s finally reason to believe that the proposed residential tower at 73 East Lake Street is actually going to happen.

The City of Chicago’s Plan Council has approved the latest plan from the developers for a 42-story apartment tower near the corner of Lake and Wabash.  If you’re having trouble picturing where this is, exactly, it’s currently the Enterprise Rent-a-Car garage and a vacant storefront that used to be a Mexican restaurant.  The property also consists of the surface parking lot at 171 North Wabash Street, which will become an eight-story office building, cleaning up a rather grotty little corner of The Loop.

If you still can’t place it, try using our Incomplete Interactive Chicago Construction Map.  I’ve added the project to it, so zoom in near Lake and Wabash.

Giving the green light to these two buildings means that when the renovation of 203 North Wabash into a Virgin Hotel, the people who live at MDA City Apartments will have to deal with construction noise on three sides, and the screeching turns of the L on the fourth.

Here are the details and some diagrams of the new building:

Overall Project

  • Developer must upgrade North Garland Court and East Benton Place to current CDOT standards.  Right now, they’re only barely alleys.
  • Developer will pay for new crosswalk countdown signals at Lake Street and Michigan Avenue.
  • Developer: M&R Development
  • Developer: Consolidated Equity III
  • Lot size: 24,915 square feet
  • Developer is paying $1.48 million cash to the city instead of having affordable housing units in the building.
  • Architecture firm: Solomon Cordwell Buenz

73 East Lake Street

  • 42-stories tall
  • 470 feet, eight inches tall
  • 332 apartments
  • Ground floor retail
  • 183 parking spaces
  • 8,882-square-foot green roof.
  • Three loading docks, inside the building.
  • Floor 1: Retail, loading dock, lobby
  • Floors 2-8: Parking
  • Floors 9, 10: Residential ammenities
  • Floors 11-41: Residential
  • Floor 42: Mechanical

171 North Wabash Street

  • 80 feet tall
  • Offices
  • 248 parking spaces
  • Facade should reflect the “historic character” of Wabash Street
  • Green roof no more than 3,360 square feet.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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