At Long Last: Groundbreaking for 200 North Michigan

200 North Michigan groundbreaking

200 North Michigan Avenue rendering courtesy of the John Buck Company

200 North Michigan Avenue rendering courtesy of the John Buck Company

After chronicling the saga of 200 North Michigan ad nauseum for the last year, we’ve reached an important milestone: The official groundbreaking of 200 North Michigan Avenue.

Having watched the old 200 North Michigan Avenue building being rent piece-by-piece until there was nothing left but scattered bricks and lakeshore loam, it is now time to build the new building in earnest. 200 North Michigan is dead; long live 200 North Michigan.

Chicago Architecture Blog photographer Milosh Kosanovich was there as Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined bankers, developers, and others in hefting the ceremonial first dirt at the site.

Of course, like pretty much every other “groundbreaking,” this comes long after ground has been broken, fractured, punctured, and otherwise violated by several weeks of intense foundation work by people with hardhats covered with union stickers, not shiny new logos. But that’s just how these things work. Besides, a giant tower crane makes a much better backdrop for photos than an old pile of bricks. And what a crane it is. It went up just a few days ago, and several of you let us know about it via our official tip line.

For more on the groundbreaking, read the press release following the gallery of Mr. Kosanovich’s excellent photography.



Chicago’s Newest Skyscraper to Reach 41 Stories, Open May 2016

Chicago, IL – (October 3, 2014) – Groundbreaking ceremonies were held today on the northwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Lake Street to commemorate the construction of Chicago’s newest high-rise, 200 North Michigan Avenue. The building, developed by The John Buck Company and designed by bKL Architecture, will rise 41 stories tall, to a height of 411 feet, and include 402 Class-A apartments.

Following the groundbreaking – the first for a skyscraper on North Michigan Avenue in over five years – the project is estimated to be completed in 24 months, and will create between 400 and 475 new construction-related jobs for the City of Chicago. One block north of Millennium Park, and just two blocks south of the DuSable Bridge, which marks the end of the Magnificent Mile, the site of the new tower is located along a stretch of Michigan Avenue that is primed for new activity.

“We are thrilled that construction has begun on 200 North Michigan Avenue,” said Richard DeLeo, Senior Vice President, Development at The John Buck Company. “The site and surrounding area of Chicago’s newest skyscraper connects the Magnificent Mile and the Chicago River with Millennium Park, making it a vital breadth of activity for residents in this city. We’re very proud to help revitalize and illuminate this area of downtown Chicago.”

In addition to 402 residential units, 200 North Michigan Avenue will feature 22,000 square feet of retail space on the first and second levels of the building, with each of the six retail spaces ranging in size from 1,200 to 8,500 square feet. The 21,706 (0.5 acre) square-foot lot will occupy 160 feet of Michigan Avenue frontage, with 130 feet of frontage on Lake Street. The building will also contain a parking structure with 125 stalls for residents.

The 200 North Michigan Avenue building will sit directly to the south of the 37-story Carbide and Carbon Building, which was built in 1929 and designated as a Chicago Landmark in 1996.

“The site of the 200 North Michigan Avenue tower is particularly appealing, given its prominence in the heart of downtown Chicago, and its proximity to the historic Carbide and Carbon Building,” said DeLeo. “With this in mind, our team at bKL Architecture designed 200 North Michigan Avenue to compliment the Carbide and Carbon Building’s classic Art Deco style, using glass and lighter colors on the Michigan Avenue face to create a clean, modern and highly polished façade. As important as this section of Michigan Avenue is, the restoration of its pedestrian experience and retail frontage were very high priorities for us.”

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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