Virus Not Slowing Down 113-Story Michigan Avenue Tower

If you’ve had ants in your pants for the last few days, it may not be a build-up of nervous anxiety from being locked in your home by the COVID-19 outbreak.  It might be your spidey sense telling you that something big is afoot at 421 North Michigan Avenue.

That’s where CIM Group is trying to put up a 113-story skyscraper in what used to be the Chicago Tribune’s parking lot.  The plan for the 1,442-foot-tall tower is expected to land in front of the Chicago Plan Commission on Thursday, usually one of the last steps in the city’s approval process.

November 2019 rendering of Tribune Tower East (via CIM Group)
November 2019 rendering of Tribune Tower East (via CIM Group)

The building, known as Tribune Tower East, is part of a larger redevelopment of the historic Tribune Tower property.  CIM is turning the building from the nexus of a failed media empire into a collection of apartments, condominiums, and a hotel.

If approved as presented, the whole project will eventually bring 726 new homes and 200 hotel rooms to Streeterville.  The massive new tower portion will have the hotel, and 564 of the residences.

More important for the higher-is-better crowd is the fact that when complete, this would be the second-tallest building in Chicago, coming in just nine feet shorter than the roof of the Willis Tower.  If you’re the kind who likes to measure by maximum height (we feel ya’), this would be number three, behind Willis and 875 North Michigan, the former John Hancock Center.

Location: 450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive, Streeterville

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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