The most anticipated Chicago skyscraper in half a decade is about to go from paperwork and promises to concrete and steel. Soil sampling trucks have begun work at 375 East Wacker drive, tasting the muddy loam where both legs of the supertower will be planted so it can straddle North Field Boulevard.
Loop Spy Jon was the one who spanked our Tip Line with the good news. You can see his photos above and below where the 95-story tower will eventually soar 1,186 feet into the air above Lakeshore East, making it the third-tallest building in Chicago, after the Willis Tower and Trump International Hotel and Tower. It will surpass its next door neighbor, the Aon Center, by 50 feet.
It was just about two years ago that Prolific Chinese real estate developer and investment company Wanda Group made the surprise announcement that it had teamed up with Magellan Development and local starchitect Jeanne Gang to build the massive tower on one of the few remaining patches of riverfront (or riverfront-adjacent) land in downtown Chicago.
Now the soil sampling trucks have arrived, marking the first dirt to turn on this project, and a very positive sign. Broadly speaking, if someone is writing a check for soil sampling, then there’s a 95% chance that Thunderbirds are go. It’s an even more concrete sign that the skyscrape will be built than Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s public declaration last week that construction on the billion dollar tower would begin this summer.