Another Hotel+Residential Tower Wants to Squeeze in On Michigan Avenue

It’s been almost two years since we first showed you the renderings someone dropped in our tip line of a potential new skyscraper for 300 North Michigan Avenue. Now it looks like those pictures were the genuine article.

March 2019 rendering of 300 North Michigan Avenue
March 2019 rendering of 300 North Michigan Avenue

300 NMA will kill an unremarkable brick building kitty-corner from Michigan Plaza. It used to house Chicago’s most depressing Walgreens, and a few offices upstairs. For now, it still has one of the few remaining rooftop water tanks in the city.

Back when its bricks and mortar were still fresh, it was a booze warehouse storing barrels of the stuff unloaded from Chicago River freighters in the days before prohibition.

If the plans from Sterling Bay and Magellan Development go through, it will become a 47-story hotel and residential tower. Expect 24,652 square feet of retail space on the first and third floors, hotel reception and amenity space on the fourth floor, shared workout space on six, then hotel rooms up to level 15. Sixteen is mechanical, then 17 through 45 are residences, topped by a residential amenity level on 46, and a mechanical level at 47.

While the fifth floor has gym space shared with the hotel, the 4,095-square-foot north-facing (chilly!) outdoor deck is expected to be residents only. Hotel guests get their own 3,748-square-foot outdoor space on level four, overlooking Michigan Avenue. Level 46 is the better option for residents, with a 1,210-square foot deck facing west, 5,140-square-feet of indoor amenity space, and a 1,811-square-foot outdoor deck on the east side sporting an outdoor pool and hot tub suitable for making your own time machine.

There’s a lot going on with this building, between residential, hotel, and retail uses. That shows in the hotel’s 280 rooms, which look like they were designed for Amtrak. But let’s be generous and call them “European style.” There’s also a dedicated 190-square-foot storage room for the hotel’s beer kegs. Again, we’ll tally that as “European style.”

The average U.S. hotel room is 325 square feet. Standard rooms at 30 NMA appear to be 190 square feet. You should probably splash out for the handicapped room on the end.

Still, it looks like it will be a good place to live if you have a dog in the city. There is an outdoor dog run on the 16th floor, accompanied by two indoor dog runs, a dog owner’s lounge, and a dog grooming area. If your pooch prefers private pampering, there is a subterranean dog spa that is larger than a lot of the apartments upstairs.

The building should look familiar, as it is very similar to the blue glass MILA tower two blocks away, which was also designed by bKL Architecture. The ground floor layout is also similar, with retail facing the main drag, and lobby access around the corner. Together they will bookend the landmark Carbide and Carbon Building.

42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly isn’t holding a public meeting about this one (yet?), but he is asking you to send your opinion of it to

  • Address: 300 North Michigan Avenue
  • Developer: Sterling Bay
  • Developer: Magellan Development
  • Architecture firm: bKL Architecture
  • Hotel rooms: 280
  • Residences: 290
  • Retail space: 24,652 square feet
  • Maximum height: 517 feet, two inches
  • Roof height: 510 feet, eight inches.
  • Maximum width: 120 feet
  • Maximum length: 131 feet, six inches
  • Automobile parking: 26 spaces (below grade)
  • Bicycle parking: 33 spaces (below grade)
  • Loading docks: two
  • Hotel access: via East Wacker Place (Formerly East South Water Street)
  • Residential access: via East Wacker Place
  • Retail access: via North Michigan Avenue.
  • Parking access: via Lower North MacChesney Court (bonus points if you’ve ever been there)
  • Loading dock access: via Lower East Wacker Place

Location: 300 North Michigan Avenue, The Loop

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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