200 West Randolph is Dead, Long Live 151 North Franklin


200 West Randolph, we hardly knew ye.

The 23-story office building that just a few short weeks ago was expected to rise at the corner of West Randolph Street and North Wells Street is now a thing of the past.  Relegated to the very very long shelf of never-built Chicago architectural models.  Crain’s Chicago Business called it yesterday when it reported that the parking garage currently at that location will remain a parking garage.

Drawing of 151 North Franklin

Drawing of 151 North Franklin

Why?  Because the owner of the parking garage has decided to sell his property’s air rights to the John Buck Company, the developer of 151 North Franklin, the John Ronan-designed, 36-story glass box proposed for next door.

The writing was on the wall when the most recent round of drawings for 151 North Franklin came out.  In our article about the building, we noted that the pictures lacked the presence of the 200 West Randolph office building, which would have been right up against 151, imperiling a number of views.  In the rear view mirror, what might have been oversight now appears to have been foreshadowing.

But the death of 200 only serves to make 151 stronger.  Crain’s believes the air rights will allow Buck to build an even taller building.

There hasn’t been much information about 151 released to the public yet, but that’s expected to change next month.  A public meeting will be held in early December where the developer will lay out the proposal for everyone to see.  If a building makes it that far in the process, there’s a 90% chance it will get built.  The Buck company hopes that it will be finished in 2016.

Then again, 200 West Randolph also had a similar public meeting.  And we see how that  turned out.

Author: Editor

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

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