Another Skyscraper Floated for Chicago’s Gold Coast

9 West Walton drawing

9 West Walton drawing

The construction of 4 East Elm Street happening right now is something of a watershed moment for the Gold Coast. Before that tower, it had been half a decade since the last residential skyscraper went up in the tony neighborhood. Now, hot on the heels of 4 East Elm is a new proposal being floated by JDL Development. It goes by the dandy name “No. 9 Walton.”

Whether this is intended to evoke the glamor of the Chanel No. 9 brand, or the prestige of No. 10 Downing Street is an exercise for the reader.  All we know is that a link to the project’s web site appeared in our anonymous tip line yesterday along with a few details.

9 West Walton Street is slated for the southwest corner of North State Street and West Walton Street, right up against Walton on the Park and the former Scottish Rite Cathedral. Currently that space is an empty lot.

The proposed tower would be 34 stories tall with just 67 residences. Like 4 East Elm, the goal here is not just condos, but super-exclusive condos. It’s another indication of the long-awaited shift in downtown’s residential market from apartments to condominiums.

One thing is certain — if this project is built, it will decimate the pool experience at Walton on the Park. Direct sunlight could only come in from the west, and even then only for a very small slice of the day. The pool’s light is already impeded by the Waldorf-Astoria and 10 East Delaware to the east, Walton on the Park to the south, and now this new building to the north, effectively leaving it in an alley.

It’s still early days for this project. Even though our research shows there’s been serious work going on behind the scenes since at least September of 2014, at this time it remains just a glimmer in a developer’s eyes. But JDL has hired Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty to shop the project around to see if there’s any interest in it.  If there is, we could see another addition to the local skyline soon.

Location: 9 West Walton Street, Gold Coast

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct the name of the real estate firm involved with the project

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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