here's our first published news of another big one in chicago. this one has been rumored about for some time, but it looks like it might be on it's way toward becoming a reality.
South Loop skyline looks up
June 26, 2006
BY DAVID ROEDER Business Reporter Advertisement
Tall and thin is in for downtown building proposals, and the latest one to reflect that would create a visual highlight for the south edge of Chicago’s skyline.
Developers and architects are completing plans for an 80-story building at 830 S. Michigan. It would be built behind a 19th century YWCA to be preserved for the sake of the historic Michigan Avenue streetwall's appearance.
Warren Barr and his Renaissant Development Group are responsible for the estimated $200 million project, which calls for construction of 376 residential condominiums. Also part of the plan is construction of a 10-story building immediately west on Wabash.
James Carroll, chief financial officer for Renaissant, said the project will tap demand for condos that have guaranteed views of Grant Park and Lake Michigan. Another aim, he said, is to attract commercial tenants to a neighborhood where they have been slow to arrive.
The old eight-story YWCA will be gutted for an upscale restaurant and a spa,
Carroll said. He also said a specialty grocer is negotiating for space in the Wabash building.
The architecture is by Chicago firm Pappageorge/Haymes Ltd.
Carroll said the city's planning department and Ald. Madeline Haithcock, whose 2nd Ward includes the South Loop, have expressed preliminary support for the project.
The building's slender profile fits a preference city officials have shown for tall and thin buildings.
City Hall's most vocal proponent of that approach is Samuel Assefa
, Mayor Daley's deputy chief of staff for economic development, and it has been echoed in the zoning reviews of the planning department. The best example of that process is the 62-story One Museum Park building under construction at the southwest corner of Roosevelt and Columbus, another Pappageorge design.
It's taller and sleeker than the developers originally proposed because city officials pushed them to provide an architectural landmark for the south end of Grant Park.
The 830 S. Michigan building, to be marketed as Park Michigan, would be Chicago's tallest south of Van Buren. At about 850 feet, it would rank as the ninth tallest among the city's buildings that are current or under construction, between the Two Prudential Plaza and AT&T Corporate Center office buildings.
Renaissant is due to present its plans at a community meeting Thursday at Jones College Prep, 606 S. State. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Unless major objections surface, Renaissant then would submit its zoning application to the City Council.
Carroll said he hopes construction can start in the third quarter of 2007, with unit delivery in late 2009.
The pace will depend on pre-sales. Prices should range from about $325,000 to penthouses worth more than $2 million, Carroll said.
One community leader who has seen the plans had unreserved praise. Bob O'Neill, president of the Grant Park Advisory Council, said the tall and thin trend produces attractive buildings that block less sunlight. "Chicago, Hong Kong and New York are the great skylines of the world. We need to keep creating ours so it looks dynamic," O'Neill said.
Renaissant acquired the property in April, paying $13 million, according to Cook County records. The seller was the Johnson family, publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines, whose offices are next door.
Barr's company also plans two other condo towers in that neighborhood, 40 stories at 1000 S. Michigan and 19 stories at 1255 S. State.