Over the past month, it's become pretty clear that the South Loop is the next frontier for the expansion of Chicago's skyline. In September, developers looking to build in Chicago were rushing to submit proposals before changes to the city's affordable housing ordinance went into effect. What followed was a week of development announcements across the city, the most notable of which are adjacent to Grant Park. These two massive skyscraper projects are poised to change the face of the downtown area.
113 E Roosevelt
Rendering courtesy Crescent Heights
Perhaps the most compelling building rendering to be released in decades, developer Crescent Heights announced a 792-foot, 76-story tower on the south end of Grant Park. The project is being designed by architect Rafael Viñoly, whose local works include the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and School of Medicine's Center for Care and Discovery. The structure could possibly be joined by a slightly smaller twin and would bring a welcome update to the area's architecture (the adjacent Grant Luxury Condos and One Museum Park East are pretty tacky). Viñoly's "bundled tube system" design is a nod to the Willis Tower, which is pretty cool. If approved, the tower will bring 792 new units to the South Loop (the twin would have 648 units).
1000 S Michigan
Two days after the Crescent Heights announcement, renderings surfaced of an 86-story tower designed by architect Helmut Jahn, the guy behind the soon-to-be-sold Thompson Center. The building, proposed on Michigan Avenue on the east side of Grant Park, would be 1,030 feet tall, according to Crain's. It would be the sixth-tallest building in the city, assuming the projected height of Jeanne Gang's planned Wanda Vista tower doesn't get reduced. The 1000 S Michigan project could very well be Jahn's last contribution to Chicago's skyline—he's 75 and hinted at an impending retirement three years ago.