When the Chicago Tribune moves out of Tribune Tower later this year, much of the iconic Michigan Avenue building will be retrofitted with 163 condos as well as several new storefronts at street level and in Pioneer Court. Seeing the historic building being repurposed as a place to live may be jarring, but developers Golub & Company and CIM Group have even bigger plans for the site—namely, a 1,422-foot skyscraper that could become Chicago’s second tallest tower, eclipsing the nearby Trump International Hotel & Tower.
Developers and architects revealed their plans for the mixed-use structure during a community meeting last night, unveiling renderings of a sleek, modern tower that would include a boutique hotel, condos, rental units and retail space. The proposed skyscraper would be built on a piece of the Tribune Tower property at the corner of Illinois Street and Cityfront Plaza Drive that is currently used as a parking lot. Developers are hoping to break ground on the project in late 2019 or early 2020.
The presentation also revealed plans to improve pedestrian walkways on Lower Michigan Avenue and Illinois Street by clearing the sidewalks, installing LED lighting and refinishing the walls with shiny white tile. A subterranean entrance to Tribune Tower will feature new lighting features and circular access to the building’s garages.
While the overriding message during the presentation was one of change, the developers also highlighted some architectural elements of Tribune Tower that will remain intact. That includes the building’s signature sign (which the developers claim they have the legal right to keep, though representatives of the Chicago Tribune seem to disagree) and stones gathered from around the world that are embedded in the tower’s facade.
Though its design could change, it seems safe to say that the proposed skyscraper on the Tribune Tower property will be joining the list of buildings that are changing Chicago’s skyline.