New construction is booming in Chicago with over 50 high-rise buildings under construction in the Central Area and tens of smaller developments across the city. Many of the major new developments are happening along the Chicago River and committing big money to connecting the riverfront with their own and surrounding communities.
Collectively, these new developments will add about a mile of riverfront space connecting existing pieces of the riverfront and creating other missing pieces. The majority of the riverfront space will be added along the South branch of the river between Harrison Street and Chinatown. The new riverfront space built by private developers will add to the city's Riverwalk project stretching between State Street and Lake Street and will strengthen the Chicago River as an attractive public amenity for city residents and visitors.
Here are the 9 developments filling the gaps along the Chicago riverfront:
. 400 N Lake Shore Dr. + New East side
Arguably the most attractive development sites in the city, these two major development sites, once built, will create a gateway to the Chicago River and define the transition between Lake Michigan and the river. 400 N Lake Shore Dr. is owned by Related Midwest and the New East side site is owned by Magellan Development. While there is still no public plans for the old Spire site, Magellan recently announced plans for three brand new towers on the New East Side site. The plan is still in the public review process.
Photo source: Google Maps
. Vista Tower
Designed to mimics the colors of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River, the Vista Wanda development will play a major role in connecting Lake Shore East with the Chicago riverfront. Once complete, the new connection will open the door to over 10,000 residents of Lake Shore East to enjoy the riverfront amenities and bring more traffic to the riverfront.
Photo source:Magellan Development
. Wolf Point Site
One of the most important sites on the Chicago river due to it's location at the junction of the East, North and South branches of the river. The new towers that will rise on the site will be visible from ever bridge crossing the river. Phase one of the project-Wolf Point West- is complete and work on phase II started in Q2 of 2017.
The Wolf Point development will add riverfront space surrounding the site and connecting Franklin Street bridge with Grand Avenue bridge. The new riverfront space will include a public park and a path for pedestrians.
. 150 Riverside + River Point
Two office developments built over existing Metra tracks and connecting the riverfront between Randolph, Lake and Canal Streets. Both buildings recently opened in 2017 and the riverfront part will be open to the public.
River Point (444 W Lake Street)
Riverside (150 Riverside)
. Old main post office
After two decades of vacancy, the 2.7 Millions Square Foot riverfront property is finally up for development. The new development is likely to bring a new riverfront piece along with with a public park on the North side of Congress Parkway.
Photo source: Google Maps
. Riverline development
With an estimated price tag of $1.5 billion, Riverline will bring of more than 3,600 apartments, condominiums and townhouses to the river front site. The significance of the site comes from it being one of the largest land for development in downtown Chicago since the 28-acre Lakeshore East opened north of Millennium Park in 2005. Besides, the new development will add over 0.3 miles of river front space connecting Harrison Street and Roosevelt Road The space will be open to the public.
Photo source: RiverlineChicago.com
. Rezmar site
Located at 100-200 W. Roosevelt/ 1200-1500 S. Clark Street, the Rezmar site is the largest development site in the Central Area. The site consists of 62 acres of land, which is more than twice the size of Riverline development and 22 acres larger than the Finkle Steel site. The riverside parcel will stretch a half-mile south from Roosevelt Road connecting it to Chinatown. The land is large enough to support over 7,000 thousands residential units along with large commercial spaces.
Furthermore, this site is not only the largest in Chicago but also the most complex site for development given the millions of dollars of infrastructure improvement required to make the site ready and suitable for development.
Photo source: Chicago Tribune
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