Loop Skyscraper Stalled, Blames COVID

If you’re a theoretical physicist, you’re probably familiar with the phrase “nature abhors a vacuum.” Chicago real estate developers have a similar adage: “City Hall abhors a vacant Loop lot.” That’s why when a real estate developer gets approval to put up a skyscraper in Chicago, it generally has six years to start moving dirt, or the city will force it back to square one.

August, 2015 rendering of 130 North Franklin.  (Courtesy of Krueck + Sexton.)
August, 2015 rendering of 130 North Franklin. (Courtesy of Krueck + Sexton.)

There are exceptions, of course. And one of those has just been granted for the 53-story skyscraper proposed to rise at 130 North Franklin Street.

130’s six-year clock was going to run out on September 24th of this year, but the Department of Planning and Development has given the building’s developers an extra year to get their turf together. Why, you ask? Blame COVID.

In a letter to the lawyers for this project:

Your client has been trying to secure financing and an anchor tenant for the building and has suffered setbacks in the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, they are considering redesigning interior MEP systems and circulation to address the health and safety of future tenants due to anticipated heightened expectations in a post-COVID world.

Based on those problems, the city has pushed deadline to get started on this project out to September 24, 2022.

Location: 130 North Franklin Street, The Loop

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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