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Developer Planning $3.5-Billion "Urban Mecca" at Post Office

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Please find a chair before reading on, because what British developer Bill Davies is proposing for the Old Main Post Office property is so fantastic and radical, it makes the failed Chicago Spire project sound conservative. Over the next ten years, Davies plans to transform the vacant 2.5 million-square-foot building and the surrounding area into an "urban mecca" that'll include five commercial and residential towers. Oh, and by the way, one of those towers would be 120 stories and 2,000 feet tall (the height of the Spire), making it the tallest building in the city and North America. Davies submitted a zoning application for the megadevelopment to the city today, which breaks the project into three phases. In the first phase, the Post Office building will be converted to a mall and hotel. Architect Larry Booth, who is master planning the development, told Crain's that Davies saw the Post Office "not as something big, awkward and difficult... He saw this as something not big enough." The numbers are astounding: The entire development would be 16 million square feet, with 6.2 million square feet for retail/entertainment, 3.8 million square feet of residential, 2 million square feet of office space, 7,500 hotel rooms, and 12,000 parking spaces. The current plan also calls for a 20-acre elevated park that would connect the development. Perhaps the most mind-boggling number is the price tag: $3.5 billion
· Skyscrapers, retail part of massive Old Post Office plan [Crain's]
· Old Chicago post office redevelopment plan unveiled [Trib]
· Old Post Office figures in mega downtown expansion plan [Sun-Times]