Jahn Pulls a 1,030-Foot-Tall Rabbit Out of His Helmut

Rendering of 1000 South Michigan (right) via Crain's Chicago Business

Rendering of 1000 South Michigan (right) via Crain’s Chicago Business

We’ve known for some time that a new skyscraper was coming to fill in the surface parking lot currently defiling 1000 South Michigan Avenue.  Crain’s Chicago Business broke the news last month, and even told us that starchitect Helmut Jahn had been chosen to work his magic in one of the South Loop’s most visible gaps.  But few could have predicted what would hit the City Clerk’s office today.

What Jahn has been working on all this time is an 86-story tower that steps back in the exact same fashion other skyscrapers don’t.  Meaning, it gets wider as it goes higher.  The skyscraper literally hangs over 1006 South Michigan Avenue.

Rendering of 1000 South Michigan (right) via Crain's Chicago Business

Rendering of 1000 South Michigan (right) via Crain’s Chicago Business

How could the people at 1006 stand for something like that? Because 1006 is owned by Times Equities, the developer of the Jahn tower.  Q.E.D.

Importantly, this is the second large-scale condominium development to find its way to the paperwork stage of reality in downtown Chicago in recent months, signaling a shift in focus for large residential buildings from renters to owners.  Magellan Development recently tempted people in Lakeshore East with the possibility of owning a slice of Chicago sky in the (Wanda) Vista Tower at 381 East Wacker Drive.   The 1000 South Michigan Building would have 60 stories of condominiums over 21 stories of apartments. Parking’s out back.

This will be Chicago’s first skyscraper to break the 1,000-fo0t mark since the 98-story Trump International Hotel and Tower went up in 2009.  Yes, you’ll probably read elsewhere that this new building is only 993 feet tall, but that’s the roof height.  We dug through the 597-page filing to get the real details, and the top of the tower has several components.  A garden and mechanical space at 981 feet, another space at 1,002 feet, a third space at 1,025 feet, and finally the tallest physical element is a flat space at 1,025 feet and four inches with what appears to be a structural element carrying it to 1,030 feet and two inches.

If the good people over at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (hi guys!) agree with us, this would become Chicago’s fifth-tallest building, behind the John Hancock Center (875 North Michigan Avenue), and knocking the Franklin Center down a notch.

Height isn’t the only discrepancy we’re eager to iron out.  When we look at the plans, we see an 88-story building.  However, parts of the paperwork call this an 86-story building.  The paperwork also occasionally lists the roof height as 933 feet and not 993 feet. Whoever filled it out was probably just really really excited.

We know the skyscraper junkies out there are itching for details, so scratch that itch with the cool, soothing relief of the firehose:

  • Address: 920-1000 South Michigan Avenue
  • Address: 1011-1015 South Wabash Avenue
  • Developer: 1000 South Michigan Equities
  • For realsies: JK Equities and Times Equities
  • Architect: Helmut Jahn
  • Maximum height: 1,026 feet four inches
  • Roof height: 993 feet
  • Residences: 506
  • Parking: 598 spaces (586 in the new tower)
  • Current zoning: DX-16
  • Proposed zoning F.A.R.: 22.87
  • Height bonus for hiding the parking behind retail space: 2.02
  • Height bonus for having setbacks: 2.45
  • Height bonus for having a green roof: 1.03
  • Height bonus for giving money to CHA for affordable housing somewhere else: 1.37
  • Gross site area (including 1006 South Michigan overhang: 63,272 square feet
  • Floor space: 1,058,378 square feet
  • LEED certified: You betcha’
  • Loading docks (new tower): 3
  • New tower base width: 134 feet, 3 ⅜ inches
  • New tower depth: 240 feet, 10 ⅞ inches
  • Separate condominium and apartment lobbies
  • Room for a small retail space
  • Parking garage access via 9th Street to the back of the building using an existing 30-foot-wide access easement

Stacking diagram:

  • 88: Roof terrace at 981 feet
  • 70-87: Condominium tier 3
  • 48-69: Condominium tier 2
  • 26-47: Condominium tier 1
  • 24-25: Condominium amenities at 248 feet
  • 13-23: Apartments
  • 12: Shared amenity floor at 128 feet
  • 2-11: Parking, apartments
  • 1 – Lobby, retail
Location: 1000 South Michigan Avenue, South Loop

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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