A Bold New Vision: Related Midwest Unveils Plans for a New Waterfront Site Along Chicago River

June 12th, 2018 by: lamar

Related Midwest Unveils Plans for 400 Lake Shore Drive

It was nearly four years ago that Related Midwest took title to the land where the Chicago Spire was once destined. Earlier this month, the developer unveiled its visionary plans for the 2.2 acre run along the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, at the first community meeting dedicated to the project.

“There will not be a shot of Chicago that doesn’t have these buildings in them.” – Curt Bailey, Related Midwest President

Related Midwest Unveils Plans for 400 Lake Shore Drive

The two sister towers at 400 Lake Shore Drive, as proposed by Related Midwest and designed by architect David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, are seen at center. A $10 million donation to the Chicago Park District would launch the construction of DuSable Park, located on a 3.3-are peninsula immediately east of 400 Lake Shore Drive. Related Midwest Rendering.

A First Look.

The development, which is now referred to as 400 Lake Shore Drive, was originally planned as a single tower. Related decided that the site will instead be divided into two residential towers, not wanting the architecture to be simply dictated by the city’s infamous hole. “Instead of trying to bastardize the design to fit what is in place, we said we’re going to take the most beautiful buildings we can design and we’ll see what we can utilize” from the Spire foundation, Bailey said. Related Midwest plans to build the towers simultaneously, which will include levels for vehicle entrances, parking, meeting rooms and a ballroom.

A First Look 400 lake shore drive

A rendering of the proposed motor court at 400 Lake Shore Drive, proposed by Related Midwest and designed by architect David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Related Midwest Rendering.

The Architecture.

The highly-anticipated plans are being designed by One World Trade Center architect, David Childs. His designs are for similar looking towers that frame North Water Street and are built with breathtaking setbacks as the building thins upward. This will allow for large outdoor terraces for 20% of the residential units. Exterior design elements will include terracotta and intricate metal details. An ode to traditional Chicago architecture.“What we wanted to do here was push the absolute envelope of what we thought was achievable and buildable in Chicago, and get right to the edge of it and more,” Related Midwest President Curt Bailey. “We want to build the best, most visionary, architecturally significant project that’s financeable and achievable.”

The architecture 400 lake shore drive chicago 60611

A detail of the facade of the proposed towers at 400 Lake Shore Drive. Both buildings will be constructed of glass and terra cotta, with intricate metal detailing. Related Midwest Rendering.

A View from the Top.

The south tower, will rise 1,100 feet, with an 850 foot north tower. The latter will be shorter than only four existing Chicago buildings: Willis Tower (1,451 feet), Trump International Hotel & Tower (1,389 feet), the Aon Center (1,136 feet) and the former John Hancock Center (1,128 feet).
“We’re not trying to set new records for height,” Bailey said. But. He added, “We talk a lot about legacy, and there will not be a shot of Chicago that doesn’t have these buildings in them. Every shot from the east will have this front and center. So we’ve taken this assignment very seriously.”

a view from the top  400 lake shore drive Chicago 60611

The two sister towers located at 400 Lake Shore Drive proposed by Related Midwest and designed by architect David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill feature slender, cascading silhouettes designed to create breathtaking city-to-lake and lake-to-city vistas while transforming the downtown skyline. Related Midwest Rendering.

The Residents.

The south tower will have 300 condominiums atop a 175 room luxury hotel and the north tower will include 550 apartments. They will be built 150 feet apart, set on top of a parking ( 750 parking spaces will be accessible from Water Street and a ramp on and off Lake Shore Drive,) and an amenities podium. The top of the platform, will rise above Lake Shore Drive traffic, and serve as an outdoor amenities area.

the residents  400 lake shore drive Chicago 60611

A view of the proposed riverwalk adjacent to 400 Lake Shore Drive. A portion of the project would be the completion of DuSable Founders Way, creating a landscaped pedestrian experience from Michigan Avenue. to Lake Michigan. This public extension of the Chicago Riverwalk would pass along the 400 Lake Shore Drive site, under Lake Shore Drive and out to the new DuSable Park. Related Midwest Rendering.

Related also plans to contribute $10 million toward the creation of the long-planned DuSable Park and will build riverwalk extensions to link it to the development.
Construction is set to begin by late next summer, with towers being completed in 2023.

“We want to build the best, most visionary, architecturally significant project that’s financeable and achievable.” – Curt Bailey, Related Midwest President

Related Midwest’s other projects in Chicago include One Bennett Park, 500 Lake Shore Drive and Park Tower residential towers. Related also recently unveiled plans to build up to 13 million square feet of multi-use space on a 62-acre site along the river in the South Loop, a $5 billion-plus development called The 78.

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