Real estate developers in Chicago are an unusually tight-lipped bunch. So it was refreshing to read that Sterling Bay Managing Director Andy Gloor was overcome by the gift of gab during an event at the Standard Club sponsored by Crain’s Chicago Business.
Mr. Gloor told the audience about his company’s plan for a 958-foot-tall office tower for the Union Station area. If completed, it would become Chicago’s ninth-tallest building, assuming the Vista Tower, now under construction in Lakeshore East, is completed.
The design is by SOM, and closely tracks the design for a Fifield project proposed for a few blocks away several years ago. That design was by friends-of-the-blog SMDP.
Here’s the hitch: Sterling Bay doesn’t own the land its building was designed to occupy. That land is owned by Amtrak. And while Amtrak is actively seeking redevelopment options for all of its property in the Union Station area, it has not yet decided which developer will take the reins. According to the Crain’s article, Mr. Gloor, “emphasized that Sterling Bay has not been chosen as Union Station’s master developer.”
Moreover, we’ve reported on more than a few skyscrapers proposed for more than a few Union Station redevelopments over the years, including some very nice ones involving cylindrical towers, and massive arch-shaped buildings. So, while Sterling Bay has a sterling track record of redeveloping old warehouses in West Town, you’ll forgive us if we remain politely skeptical of this massive leap skyward.