New Erection Will Have Goose Island Sporting Wood

Yes, we're all a bunch of fifth-graders around here.  But in spite of the juvenile headline, what's planned for Goose Island is clearly innovative.

Texas mega-developer Hines officially plans to put up a new office building on Goose Island that's made of wood.

Rendering of T3 Chicago (Courtesy of Hines)

Rendering of T3 Chicago (Courtesy of Hines)

Crain's Chicago Business first reported Hines knotty notion way back in February, and we noted back then that this isn't Hines' first time going out on this limb.  It has a large office building in Minneapolis called T3, which is the home of the Gopher State's presence. "T3" stands for timber, transit, and technology.  Hines' Chicago effort will, imaginatively, be called "T3 Chicago."

The architecture firm that designed T3 in Minneapolis is Michael Green Architecture, and Michael Green did a Ted Talk once about "Why we should build wooden skyscrapers." He'll try to work his magic in Chicago, too.

T3 Chicago will be seven stories tall, with 270,000 square feet of space.  In a spot of irony, the new wooden office building will be located where the Big Bay lumber yard once was.

While wooden office buildings are trendy around the world, especially in timber-abundant places like Scandinavia, this will be the first significant permanent wooden building in Chicago in more than a hundred years.  But it likely won't be the last.

Near North architecture firm Perkins+Will has proposed the 80-story River Beech Tower, as part of CMK and Lendlease's huge Riverline development south of the Willis Tower.

Rendering of the proposed River Beach Tower

Rendering of the proposed River Beach Tower

Press release follows.


Hines, the international real estate firm, in a joint venture with Diversified Real Estate Capital, LLC ("DRE") and Big Bay Realty, LLC, announced it will develop T3 Goose Island - a seven-story, 270,000-square-foot heavy timber office development. The project will be the first wood-structured office building developed in Chicago since the 1800s.

Goose Island, an industrial and manufacturing hub since the 1850s, is now being reinvented as a highly desirable office location surrounded by the most affluent residential neighborhoods in Chicago. Sparked by the North Branch Framework, approved by City Council in July, the plan includes infrastructure improvements, added public, pedestrian and bike-friendly transit options, and open space to take advantage of Goose Island's natural setting on the Chicago River. Until 2015, the T3 Goose Island site was home to Big Bay Lumber.

Hines will work with DLR Group and Michael Green Architects, the architectural team behind the firm's prototype T3 project in Minneapolis, to design a timber-structured building in homage to the history of the site and as a market differentiator in Goose Island's evolving neighborhood.

"Users are seeking authentic office environments that enable their culture. They want modern design, efficient operations and environmentally sensitive construction and T3 Goose Island will deliver on all of their expectations," said Brian Atkinson, Hines managing director.

Designed for collaboration and work/life balance, T3 will offer an exceptional complement of amenities including common social areas, a shared rooftop deck, private tenant-only balconies on each floor, bike storage and repair, a modern fitness facility with locker rooms, and dynamic ground floor retail.

Surrounded by the most vibrant residential neighborhoods in Chicago, including: Bucktown, Wicker Park, Lincoln Park and Old Town, Goose Island is becoming a new hub for progress, easily accessible by bike, water taxi, bus, Metra and car.

The environmental benefit of using wood on T3 is the equivalent to taking 966 cars off the road for a year. With timber as the structural system of the project, T3 will be one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable developments in Chicago.

Location: 1017 West Division Street, Goose Island

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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