Hubbard Street Skyscraper Asking For More Headroom, More Residents

Rendering of 412 North Wells and 221 West Hubbard (Courtesy of Hirsch Associates)

Rendering of 412 North Wells and 221 West Hubbard (Courtesy of Hirsch Associates)

Construction has only been underway for a few months at the corner of Hubbard and Wells, just behind the Merchandise Mart in River North, and Centrum Partners is asking the city to let it build higher.

You’ll remember that Centrum is working on a glassy duo of buildings right up against the CTA Brown/Purple Line curve that jogs the north/south elevated train line from Wells Street to Franklin Street.  The smaller of the two buildings, 412 North Wells, remains 152 feet tall.  But its big brother next door at 221 West Hubbard wants to grow from 270 feet tall to 285 feet tall.  Both were designed by Hirsch Associates.

Centrum is trying to wring an extra 0.5 FAR out of the city through the new Neighborhoods Opportunity Bonus.  The FAR would go from 10.15 to 10.65.

Seems like a minor change, but it could mean big money for the developer, because the increase in height also comes with an increase in the number of residences it can build in the tower.  219 is what’s on the plate now, up 24 from before.   Even if those are small apartments, you’re talking an extra half-million dollars of rental income each year.

Location: 221 West Hubbard Street, River North

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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