Two weeks ago we told you that there were once again plans to deck over the Metra railroad tracks that carve through the east side of the South Loop and put up a new neighborhood. Now we know it will be called One Central, and we know it will be huge.
Landmark Development unveiled its proposal at a public meeting tonight. It will rival The 78, Lincoln Yards, 700 At The River, and what used to be Riverline in both scale and ambition. It envisions office buildings, apartments, condominiums, hotels, shopping, and entertainment venues all within shouting distance of some of the city’s biggest attractions.
The development designed by Perkins + Will includes nearly a dozen towers running north-to-south between McFetridge Drive and McCormick Place. The focal point is a pair of brawny skyscrapers reminiscent of both the Willis Tower and 875 North Michigan, joined by a skybridge up high, and an intermodal station below, linking Amtrak, Metra, and a new spur of the CTA Orange Line. There’s also the notion of using the below-grade bus shuttle route that runs between McCormick Place and the Illinois Center for public transit.
While it’s a stunning plan, sadly, details are lacking. We don’t have many hard numbers to work with about size, height, and scale. But an educated guess and a bunch of pixel counting puts it the tallest tower a little over 80 stories.
Until firm numbers can be nailed down, enjoy the renderings.