New Residential Tower Targets a Different Loop Dweller

For much of The Loop’s recent renaissance, the people moving downtown were college students and young urban professionals in search of the excitement of the big city. Sure, there were pockets of older urban pioneers along Randolph Street and a few other crannies, but they were pretty much a statistical rounding error.

May 2019 rendering of 424 South Wabash
May 2019 rendering of 424 South Wabash

Now a Florida company wants to bring the older set to the neighborhood in a big way. Orlando’s Ponte Health plans to put up a vertical village for the elderly right in the heart of The Loop. It’s planned 245 residences for 424 South Wabash — just steps away from the Harold Washington Library, Grant Park, and the all-important Russian Tea Room.

Even though Ponte’s web site is threadbare when it comes to information, this doesn’t appear to be the company’s first grannies-in-the-sky rodeo. A few days ago it filed for permits with the city of Orlando to build a similar, but better-looking, project there.

We’d tell you more about the project, but the developer issued a press release stuffed full sentences like “A striking, self-sustaining, resident-focused, advanced technology-driven facility, it will be made of a lean tower to deliver from Residential Facilities and Amenities, Preventative and General Geriatric Care and Outpatient Medical Office and Research spaces throughout about 1/2 million square feet.” It may also be the first time a building in Chicago was described as “biophilic.”

Crain’s managed to figure out that the building should have 245 residences and cost half a billion dollars. Other than that, you’re on your own.

Location: 424 South Wabash 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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