With lucky red shovels in hand, friends, financiers, politicians, developers, and architects held a ceremonial groundbreaking today for the Vista Tower at 363 East Wacker Drive.
Perched on the grassy bit behind The Tides, the gathered dignitaries and international press could see work already well underway in the dirt patches on either side of North Field Boulevard. The 93-story building being developed by China’s Wanda Group and Chicago’s Magellan Development will eventually straddle North Field Boulevard, and also connect East Waterside Drive with East Wacker Drive, fulfilling the decades-old dream of giving Lakeshore East direct access to Upper Wacker Drive.
At the center of the ceremony was Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a prominent driver of this project. Hizzonor has been the occasional public face of this project, and several others, in a way that his predecessor was not. Joining him was Mr. Chen Guocai, Vice President of Wanda Commercial Properties.
The 1,186-foot-tall building was designed by Jeanne Gang, of Studio Gang, conspicuously positioned between the mayor and 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly. bKL’s Tom Kerwin, the architect of record, is first on the left in the photograph above.
The billion-dollar skyscraper will be the third tallest in Chicago when complete, behind the Trump International Hotel and Tower and the Willis Tower. It will consist of 200 hotel rooms, 400 residences, and about 9,000 square feet of retail space.
We’re happy to report that Magellan chose to continue the recent tradition of Chicago skyscraper groundbreakings being accompanied by cakes in the shape of the building. This is at least the third skyscraper cake we’ve seen in the last year. Smells like a business opportunity.