Approval Expected For New Gold Coast Residential Tower

1149 North State diagram

This week we should find out if Chicago’s Gold Coast will get a new condominium tower.

The Chicago Plan Commission is scheduled to take up the plan for 1149 North State Street, a proposed 25-story building at the corner of State and East Elm Street.  Although the two-story brick retail building immediately to the north is considered part of the property, it is actually owned by another company and it will not be torn down to make way for this new tower.

The tower portion isn’t a square.  The western side of the tower is angled inward, giving residents views of  Mariano Park, and the city skyline.  It also keeps the building from overshadowing the intersection too much, and keeps the main mass of the building from sitting square on top of the Red Line subway tunnel.

In July of last year, 2nd Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti was quoted in Crain’s Chicago Business as saying that the development was a surprise to him, that the developer hadn’t spoken to him about it, or held any public meetings.  He told Crains, “To sneak this in is unacceptable.”

Fioretti’s position may have softened somewhat in the last six months because the Chicago City Clerk’s office now lists the ordinance as “Recommended for Passage.”

1149 North State diagramWhat also may have softened in the last six months is the scale of the project.  The number of parking spaces has been reduced from 80 to 74.  There’s no indication yet if any of the other details have been changed.

Here are the specs, based on the latest available documents filed with the city:

  • Developer: DRW (as Elm State Property LLC)
  • Architecture firm: SCB
  • Maximum height: 335 feet
  • Height to mechanical level: 315 feet
  • Residential start: 85 feet
  • Outside amenity floor: 57 feet
  • Stories: 25
  • Residences: 40
  • Parking: 74 spaces
  • Parking access: via East Elm Street
  • Loading docks: 1
  • Lot size: 36,044 square feet
  • Project size: 19,577 square feet
  • Retail floor space: 4,200 square feet
  • Length: 119 feet
  • Width: 100 feet
  • Space between building basement and CTA tunnel enclosure: 9 feet
  • Green roof: 4,544 square feet (50.1%)
  • Amenity deck: 5th floor, including pool
  • Stacking:
    25: Mechanical
    7-24: Residential
    5-6: Common Areas
    2-4: Parking
    1: Retail, Parking
    B1: Mechanical

In looking at the diagrams below, it’s interesting to see how SCB had to use transfer columns to avoid the curving Red Line subway tunnel which runs under the western half of the new building.

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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