Two-Tower West Loop Skyscraper Plan Advanced

Plans for a two-tower residential complex across the street from the five-tower Presidential Towers complex in the West Loop have hit paper.

February, 2021 rendering of 601 West Monroe Street
February, 2021 rendering of 601 West Monroe Street

This is the 3,874th plan we’ve seen for 601 West Monroe Street in the last 20 years, but it appears to be the one with the best chance of succeeding.  The other ones were pretty, and interesting, and we really liked the sloping BP Americas Headquarters put together by SMDP.  But the new plan from Vancouver firm Pacific Reach isn’t just models and renderings and real estate folks talking to their own bellybuttons.  This is actually in black-and-white on paper in City Hall.  

What’s in this space right now is a pair of surface parking lots.  If you’re of a certain age and demographic, you may recognize this smear of asphalt as the location of the defunct Old Saint Pat’s “World’s Biggest Block Party,” which, truth be told, wasn’t even the Midwest’s largest church block party.  But having noshed wafers in that sanctuary, we’ll let it go.

February, 2021 diagram of 601 West Monroe Street
February, 2021 diagram of 601 West Monroe Street

The new residential complex will benefit from bumping uglies with Heritage Green Park, a nice square of plantings in an area that hasn’t had enough open space since before the electric lightbulb.  Heritage Green is already loved to death daily by hundreds of people and their occasionally-leashed leg lifters, which causes it to struggle with keeping the “Green” in its name.   Sharing the block with the occupants of over a thousand new homes will be… challenging.

We expect to see some opposition to this project, simply because of its size.  Sure, it’s far smaller than Presidential Towers, but pre-COVID, traffic in the neighborhood would gridlock twice a day.  And the residents of the nearby loft conversions have a history of complaining quite loudly about any development, no matter how big or small, that might invade their jealously-guarded slice of private Idaho.

If this goes ahead, expect the first tower to go up to be the taller one that runs along West Monroe Street, and has a big interesting hole at the top.  Phase two will be the one along South Desplaines Street.

Here’s the details of the plan, from the paperwork filed with the city:

  • Address: 601 West Monroe Street
  • Developer: Jamal Properties (601 W. Monroe) Inc.
  • For realsies: Pacific Reach Properties
  • Architecture firm: SCB
  • Zoning: DC-12 → Residential-Business Planned Development
  • Net site area: 63,168 square feet
  • Floor Area Ratio: 15.74 (12 base + 3.74 bonus)
  • Height
    • Tower 1
      • Maximum height: 535 feet
      • Roof height: 490 feet
    • Tower 2
      • Maximum height: 465 feet
      • Roof height: 420 feet
  • Floors
    • Tower 1: 47
    • Tower 2: 40
  • Maximum residences: 1,053
    • Tower 1: 537
    • Tower 2: 516
  • Affordable units on-site: 7
  • Automobile parking: 430 spaces
    • Tower 1: 400 spaces
    • Tower 2: 30 spaces
  • Bicycle parking: 385 spaces
  • Loading docks: 7

Location: 601 West Monroe Street, West 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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