More on River Point [Update 2]

Drawing of River Point courtesy of Hines

Drawing of River Point courtesy of Hines

Just a few hours after we published our article about River Point (444 West Lake Street), the new office tower expected to break ground soon at the confluence of the Chicago River and its north branch, Hines sent along a press release about the project.

Here are the juicy bits:

  • Construction start: Before the end of the year.
  • Construction finish: 2016
  • Architect: Pickard Chilton
  • Size: 850,000 square feet
  • Environmental: It was pre-certified LEED Gold back in 2008

There’s a couple of other things worth noting.  First, this is Fulton River District, not West Loop.  North of Lake street up to Ohio Street is FRD. The West Loop is south of there.  See our handy dandy article for more information.

Also, in the full press release is a quote from Mayor Rahm Emmanuel.  We get press releases from Hines all the time announcing new buildings around the world.  This is the first time I can recall seeing one with a quote from a local politician in it.  The reason is simple: Money.  The city of Chicago is splitting the cost of the riverfront park with the developers.  That park hides a rail tunnel for Amtrak and Metra trains to Chicago Union Station (210 South Canal Street).  The city will pay $29 million to help build the tunnel and park.  The developer’s share is $30 million.

River Point rendering with hotel building highlighted

River Point rendering with hotel building highlighted

As we mentioned in our article yesterday, the project has been scaled back from 52 stories to 45.  In addition, Hines’ public relations people tell us that the hotel component of this project is dead.

It was going to be a 200-room addition on the north end of the property.  You can still see the building in one Pickard Chilton rendering, which we have marked with a thick red circle.  And in the thin red line you can see the reflection of the building in the river to give you a sense of what its height would have been (click to enlarge).

Here’s the press release in its entirety:

Ivanhoé Cambridge and Hines to Develop Sculptural Office Tower in Chicago

River Point in Downtown’s West Loop Overlooking the Chicago River
Will Offer 900,000 Sq. Ft. of Class AA Space
For Occupancy in early 2016

Chicago, Illinois, May 16, 2012- Ivanhoé Cambridge, one of the 10 largest real estate companies in the world, announced today its planned investment of US $300 million to build a 45-story office tower in the West Loop in downtown Chicago. The tower, River Point, is being developed by co-investor and international real estate firm Hines, on land co-owned by local business leader Larry Levy. The investment is expected to close by the end of May 2012 (upon finalization of documentation and subject to usual conditions) with construction to commence before year-end, and tenant occupancy to begin in early 2016.


A world-class office tower, River Point was designed by noted architectural firm Pickard Chilton and will be built at 444 West Lake Street on the western bank of the Chicago River near two rail hubs in the West Loop, overlooking the river towards Lake Michigan. Containing approximately 900,000 square feet of leasable space, the project also calls for construction of a majestic 1.5-acre public park atop the existing rail infrastructure that will connect the tower and its 450-linear feet of newly landscaped walkway to the Chicago Riverwalk. The tower is pre-certified LEED® Gold.


According to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, River Point will be the largest real estate project to be launched in the past five years in Chicago, where no other office tower construction projects are currently underway. “River Point is a vote of confidence for our city, welcome news for the local economy, and a signal that Chicago is leading the nation in job creation and economic development,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The investors and developers are starting this project because they see that Chicago is a city on the move, shaping its own future, and attracting the best and brightest.”


“This project not only represents welcome economic news, it also responds to increasing corporate demand for the highest quality real estate,” explained Daniel Fournier, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Ivanhoé Cambridge. “River Point also offers us the chance to strengthen our strategic partnership with Hines, a flagship player in high-end real estate in the U.S. and around the globe.”


“River Point will drive strong enthusiasm in the next-generation real estate product market and will be a striking addition to Chicago’s much-loved and world-renowned architectural character,” commented C. Kevin Shannahan, Senior Managing Director/CEO – Midwest and Southeast regions at Hines. “Ivanhoé Cambridge’s formidable commitment to this development and the city of Chicago today is a beacon for economic recovery.”


The partnership of Hines with Ivanhoé Cambridge has an established track record for successful development in recent years with two other high-profile construction projects: Eighth Avenue Place in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and the T1 tower in the La Défense business district of Paris. In addition, Ivanhoé Cambridge, with Hines as its partner developer, recently won a Paris competition among architects, developers and investors for construction of a twin-tower complex in the city’s 13th arrondissement. The project, called “Duo,” was selected over projects from three competing teams and has been declared the winner of the Paris Mayor’s Office Premier Immeuble de Grande Hauteur competition.


“The River Point project is truly exceptional, not only for its prime location and architectural quality, but also because it is taking shape at an auspicious moment, with all signs pointing to a substantial increase in demand for new office properties in downtown Chicago in the years to come,” noted Bill Tresham, President, Global Investments, Ivanhoé Cambridge. “This is great news for Ivanhoé Cambridge, for Hines, for the City of Chicago and for the many large-scale corporations seeking prestigious and functional office space.”


With 9.6 million inhabitants, Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States. It is home to headquarters of more than 400 corporations — 29 on the Fortune 500 list. Several corporations have already expressed interest in leasing space in a next-generation, well-located office building.


About Ivanhoé Cambridge


Ivanhoé Cambridge is one of the world’s 10 largest real estate companies. As at December 31, 2011, its assets totaled more than CAD30 billion and could be found in over 20 countries around the world. Headquartered in Montréal, Québec, Canada, the company owns more than 30 office buildings in the United States. Ivanhoé Cambridge is the real estate subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (, one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers. For further information, please visit


About Hines


Hines is a privately owned real estate firm involved in real estate investment, development and property management worldwide. The firm’s historical and current portfolio of projects that are underway, completed, acquired and managed for third parties includes 1,192 properties representing more than 482 million square feet of real estate. With offices in 110 cities in 18 countries, and controlled assets valued at approximately $22.9 billion, Hines is one of the largest real estate organizations in the world. Visit for more information.

Previous coverage:

Updated May 17, 2012 @ 9:10am CT to reflect that the hotel portion of this project has been cancelled.
Updated May 17, 2012 @ 10:03am CT to add that the city is paying $29 million toward the riverfront park.

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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