Shove over, weedy lot. Here comes Riverline!

Riverline under construction

Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy!

The first heavy machinery arrived in a derelict patch of the South Loop yesterday, eager to bite into the loam and build downtown Chicago’s next planned community.

When finished, Riverline will fill the vacant space south of Harrison Street, north of Roosevelt Road, and west of Wells Street along the South Branch of the Chicago River. It will eventually be composed of 2,700 homes in five towers, plus a smattering of townhouses, 16,000 square feet of retail space and semi-public parks and paths.  It’s a joint venture between local developer CMK and Australian mega-developer Lend Lease.

The first phase of the Perkins+Will-designed project, where the dozers and diggers started frolicking yesterday, will be a 47-story tower with about 600 new homes.

Rendering of Riverline (Courtesy of Perkins+Will)

Rendering of Riverline (Courtesy of Perkins+Will)

Location: 600 South Wells Street, South Loop


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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  1. Any idea why work on the site stopped? There was a huge crew and lots of machinery digging and then later infilling with crushed bricks in April. The crews and machinery are gone. There has been no work in May or June. Has this project hit financing issues, redesign, zoning hurdles, legal battles, etc.? It just seems strange that they were working so fast and furious for a month and then nothing at all for 2 months.

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    • Editor

      I wouldn’t worry about it just yet. What you saw was soil sampling. Crews have to take samples of the dirt in order to figure out what’s buried underneath. Especially in this area where the river used to run. Other nearby developments have found old boats and piers under the dirt. Once they work out what’s down there, they can then design a foundation and then figure out how to integrate it with all the buildings. Lots of math. Lots of paperwork. I wouldn’t worry until maybe early September.

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