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Trends/Building Boom in Chicago Developments


The Chicago skyline will look a little different in the months and years ahead, in part because of the 44 high-rise buildings that are currently under construction in the Windy City. What can you expect from this building boom? Here are some of the most interesting projects—and trends—taking place in Chicago:

Condo Development

Although the condo market has not completely recovered from the recession, it is starting to show signs of life. One of the most interesting condo projects is the Vista Tower, which will actually consist of both hotel rooms and condos. The first 12 floors of the building will be allocated to the hotel, while floors 13 through 93 will feature luxury condominiums. Every unit is designed to take your breath away, but the showstoppers, known as “Sky Residences” are on floors 71 through 91. These residences will feature high ceilings, incredible views, and a hefty price tag. The top two levels of the building will be combined to form a duplex penthouse that is expected to list at $18 million.
Residents inside Vista Tower will have access to a fitness center, pool, private dining area, wine storage and tasting facility, and screening room, among many other amenities. All of these amenities are available on the building’s 47th floor and will be open to both hotel guests and permanent residents.

Retail Space

Most of the buildings that are being developed will feature rental units or office space, but there are a handful that will have plenty of room for retailers as well. The Hudson, which is will be located in River North, will consist of 240 rental units along with 10,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor of the building. This development is just a short walking distance away from a number of tech startups and established companies such as Groupon, so it will certainly be a desirable place to live.

The high rise that will call 465 N. Park home will also make room for retailers. The initial plans show the developers have allocated over 11,000 square feet for retailers and commercial space. Another project at the corner of Wabash and 11th Street will also invite retailers in, but only 3,500 square feet of this building will be spared for retail businesses.

Energy Efficiency

Green living has become more of a priority for today’s renters and buyers, and developers in Chicago have certainly taken notice. Many of the buildings that are still under construction will feature green amenities, but one of the most intriguing is the Solstice on the Park. The glass face of the building will alternate at 71 degree angles to increase the energy efficiency inside of each unit. How does it work? The glass is designed to alternate in a way that allows tenants to soak up the small amount of sunshine during the winter and create a bit of shade during the hot summer months. The result? In the summer, less heat will transfer into the building and in the winter, more heat will transfer into the building. This means tenants won’t have to crank down the air conditioner in the summer or dial up the heat in the winter to stay comfortable, which should lead to energy savings and lower utility bills.

Natural Amenities

Fitness rooms and resort-style pools are two of the most popular amenities found in high rise buildings in major cities like Chicago. Although these amenities will most definitely be included in these projects, developers have also found a way to transform nature into a desirable amenity as well. The highly-anticipated Riverline development is just one of the projects that celebrates nature. The 8 waterfront buildings that make up Riverline will be adjacent to over 3.5 acres of open green space and a landscaped walkway along the river. Tenants can either make use of the open space or find peace and quiet strolling alongside the river.

Several projects, including the Lakeshore LDS Meetinghouse and development at 625 W. Adams St, feature rooftop terraces where tenants can take in the scenic views and enjoy the outdoors.

Low Rises Into High Rises

Where did developers find the land to construct these new buildings? In many cases, the high rise buildings that are currently under construction will replace old low rise buildings. A 39-story tower will be constructed on a piece of land that was formerly occupied by Gino’s East restaurant, a small pizza place. CNA Financial will soon anchor an upscale office building at 151 N. Franklin that used to be home to a Walgreens and small parking lot. Take one look at the before and after pictures and you will be amazed by the transformation.

Entertainment District Development

The area around the McCormick Place Entertainment District is slowly beginning to take shape. The development located at 123 E. Cermak will feature three hotels, which are rumored to be Hampton Inn, Home2 Suites, and Hilton Garden Inn. There’s also the 1,206-room Marriott Marquis hotel, which will rise 39 stories into the air despite initial plans that showed the hotel would consist of 51 stories. These are just two of the projects that are slowly breathing life into the Entertainment District, which should be a major attraction for Chicago residents and tourists once it is finished. The district will also feature plenty of space for retailers and a modern arena to host events and conferences. Although it will still be quite some time before the district is complete, Chicago residents should be excited about what’s to come in this area.

Once these projects are completed, they will without a doubt inspire the rest of the developments still under construction in Chicago. If you are interested in collaborating on a future project, contact us today to learn how we can help.