Some new skyscrapers seem to be on a juggernaut — they go from notion to city hall to finished faster than a reality TV wedding. But other skyscrapers take their time. And for reasons that are maddeningly none of our business, some seem to get stuck. We’re happy to report that after months of nothing going on, Optima Tower II (220 East Illinois Street) is officially unstuck.
In the last few days, the City of Chicago has issued permits for both a new tower crane at its Streeterville construction site, and a foundation construction permit. Which means you can expect dirt to start moving any minute now, if it hasn’t already.
There has been some confusion over the last couple of years about how tall the second tower will be. The latest city paperwork puts it firmly at 55 stories.
Optima Tower II is the younger, taller, prettier sibling to the Optima Tower, designed and developed by Optima Real Estate way out in Glencoe. The original 42-story Optima Tower, and its new 55-story sister constitute what Optima Real Estate calls the Optima Chicago Center. Optima has five developments in Chicagoland and in Arizona, and they all bear the Optima brand.
The new Optima tower slots in to the space between the newish Ronald McDonald House and the Fairbanks (280 East Illinois Street), and will sport 498 residences when completed.