Salesforce Tower Chicago Scaled Back Again

When word came down the pike that Wolf Point South would become Salesforce Tower Chicago, we knew it wasn’t going to be everything everyone had hoped for since the beginning of ever. Now we know exactly how much less it will be.

Rendering of Wolf Points West, South, and East (Courtesy of Hines)
Rendering of Wolf Points West, South, and East (Courtesy of Hines)

In 2013, the city approved Wolf Point South to be a 950-foot-tall office+hotel+residential tower. By 2015, Wolf Point South was going to be an elegant tower stretching to an unknown height officially, but with rumors of it topping 1,000 feet with the help of a spire. Then it went down to just 813 feet. By 2016, the plan for the building was revised upward again back to 950 feet tall, but with a flat top.

Now it looks an awful lot like the Chicago edition of Salesforce Tower will clock in at a mere 815 feet. That’s 135 feet shorter than it was zoned for. If Salesforce Tower was built tomorrow, it would be the 17th-tallest building in the city. Even millennials don’t get a participation ribbon for 17th place.

The victims are the building’s hotel and residences. The tower was most recently approved for 450 hotel rooms and 200 new homes. It will have neither of those now, reducing the building’s total size from 1.8 million square feet to 1.5 million square feet.

Even the 815 foot figure is a little wonky. A couple of weeks ago the city approved 815, but the developers submitted documents with “±815” in the text, but with drawings putting it back at 813 feet.

Diagram of Wolf Point South
“Son, I am disappoint.”

Salesforce Tower isn’t the only underachiever in the Wolf Point family. In 2013 Wolf Point East was approved for 750 feet. The developers went for 665, instead.

As we know, actual building heights will vary all the way up to the day of completion, and even beyond. But it’s hard not to be disappointed when one of the city’s most visible plots of land isn’t used to its full, legal potential.

Location: 333 West Wolf Point Plaza Drive, 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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1 Comment

  1. Somewhat disappointing regarding the lowered height as the original plan involving a 950 foot tall tower would of been great addition to Chicago’s skyline & at such a prominent site.
    But certainly not as disappointing as the OneEleven Apt. tower which is just east of this & on the other side of the river. This stands at 630 feet which is a big difference compared to the original plans for that site, Waterview Tower, which was to stand at 1,047 feet.

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