Downtown Chicago Could Get 11 New Skyscrapers This Week

If there’s a skyscraper nerd in your office, don’t be surprised if he calls in sick on Thursday.  That’s the day the Chicago Plan Commission considers the largest number of new skyscrapers for downtown Chicago since August of 2014, when four new towers were on the docket.

This time, there are 11 major buildings in play:

  • 700 at the River in River West
    • 1,500 total residences
    • 497 car parking spaces
    • Total FAR: 8.1
    • Building One — mixed use
      • 124 feet tall
    • Building Two — mixed use
      • 508 feet tall
    • Building Three — mixed use
      • 378 feet tall
    • Building Four — mixed use
      • 152 feet tall
  • Building O at 193 North Columbus Drive in The Loop
    • 610 feet tall
    • 640 residences
    • 570 hotel rooms divided between two hotels
  • Building I, Building J, Building KL
    • Maximum height: 950 feet
    • Maximum residences: 1,700
  • Onni Grand at 353 West Grand Avenue in River North
    • 452 feet tall
    • 356 residences
    • 261 auto parking spaces
  • Engine Company 42 Tower at 444 North Dearborn Street in Near North
    • 455 feet tall
    • 614,000 square feet of office space
    • 30 parking spaces
    • A new fire station
  • Union Station redevelopment in the West Loop
    • 715 foot tall office building
    • One floor added to Union Station
    • Union Station gets a 400-room hotel
    • 265 auto parking spaces at Union Station
    • 400 auto parking spaces in the new office tower

The 700 at the River project is phase one of the redevelopment of the land west of the Chicago River that is owned by what is left of the once mighty Tribune Company, now Tribune Media, the once globally powerful information conglomerate reduced to a freshman real estate developer carrying a bunch of unwanted broadcasting properties.

The last piece of official information on this came just over a year ago, so it will be interesting to find out how the project has changed in the last 369 days. Eventually, when all three phases of 700 are complete, there will be up to 4,099 new residences, along with office buildings, retail, riverwalk, and water taxi space.

Buildings I, J, and KL in Lakeshore East have also been revised since the last official document filing with the city.  Back then, Building I was going to be 80 stories, Building J 50 stories, and Building KL 40 stories.  Expect those figures to be tweaked, but not dramatically.

In addition, there are two other projects of note:

  • An new residential building at 1535 North Dayton Street in the Goose Island neighborhood
    • 8 stories
    • 197 residences
    • 56 car parking spaces
    • 181 bicycle parking spaces
  • A presentation from the University of Chicago about its planned new hotel at 1225 East 60th Street
    • 12 stories
    • 155 feet tall


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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