The just-barely–sort-of-under-construction skyscraper known as One Bennett Park continues to amaze. It started when the location was selected. Then we found out that it would include a redesigned public park. Then there was that first rendering which is still taped to the ceilings above many a skyscraper nerd’s bed. And then we got the height and other stats. At every turn, Related Midwest’s new baby has filled architecture enthusiasts with hope and joy in a city awash in beige blocks. If it was up to us, we’d name it our 2016 Skyscraper of the Year and give Related a laurel and hardy handshake. But we don’t waste your time with bogus clickbait “awards.” We’d rather do a little thing called “journalism.”
And in that light, we’re happy to be able to bring to you even more new information about the tower that will soon tower over Streeterville’s lake shore skyline. A private meeting was recently held for a handful of interested parties, and you bet your Aunt Myrtle’s ceramic turtles we had a spy there. Here’s the bird’s eye low down on this caper, toots’:
- Whenever someone builds something in Chicago and doesn’t choose a Chicago architect, we feel compelled to ask why. The answer, according to Donald Biernacki, a Senior Vice President from Related Midwest, is that Related already has a good working relationship with Robert A.M. Stern, and knew he could pop out another Art Deco-styled skyscraper for them as he has done a handful of times for Related in New York.
It has been confirmed that the top floor of the building is, indeed, going to be 60 feet tall. But before you go applying for a domestic giraffe license, know that this will not be a condominium. It’s going to be mechanical space, and is believed to include some form of mass dampener to counteract Chicago’s eponymous sobriquet.
- The big top floor is being called “The Lantern” because it will be illuminated and hopefully an icon in the city’s night skyline.
- Apartments: 280
- Condominiums: 60ish. The current design is 69, but that is being revised downward.
- There are no small units. No efficencies. No micro-apartments. No studios. No convertibles. Not even a small one-bedroom abode. Nope, if you want to put down 451 East Grand as your address you’ll have to splash out for a comfortably-sized one, two, three, or… get this… four-bedroom unit. When was the last time a new Chicago skyscraper offered four-bedroom homes out of the box?
- One Bennett Park is pulling an Aqua, with the condominium class and apartment dwellers having separate lobbies and elevators so never the elbows shall rub.
- Apartment lobby faces Peshtigo Court.
- Condominium lobby faces the leafy expanse of Bennett Park.
- Apartment amenities on the ground floor.
- Condominium amenities on the 41st floor.
- Pools are a disappointment. A lap pool and a little plunge postage stamp like at a cheap place. But if you can afford to live at One Bennett Park, you’re probably swimming at your club. In Fiji water. While wearing a smoking jacket.
- One Bennett Park has been designed so that it will not block views from the outdoor spaces of 500 North Lake Shore Drive.
- The new park will open to the public in mid- to late-2018.
- The new park will be surrounded by a fence and open and close at the same hours as the nearby Chicago Parks District parks.
- General contractor is Lend Lease
Look for caisson work in May through July, and foundation work through the end of the year.
- They hope to start pouring floor slabs in December.
- March, 2017 is the goal to have half of the floors poured for the apartment portion of the building (floors 2-34 by our count)
- June, 2017 is the goal to finish pouring the floors for the apartments.
- September, 2017 is the goal to have half of the condominium floors poured.
- December, 2017 is the goal to have the remaining condominium floors poured.
- The goal for opening the apartments is late 2018.
- The goal for opening the condominiums is early 2019.
- The facade is pre-cast concrete panels and will arrive on-side with the windows already installed in them.
Now you know everything we know. Unless you missed our statistics-filled article from 2014: It’s Going to be Huge, Details and Diagrams of 451 East Grand. That, good sir, is required reading.