A new change-up is in store for the coveted development parcel at 645 W Madison. The subject of shifting office and/or residential plans from landholder MR Properties, Houston-based powerhouse Hines Interests has stepped in to buy half of the 86,000-square-foot site, which now seems destined for a 500,000-square-foot office building. The remaining portion, still in MR's hands, may grow a hotel. The site's change in May to mixed-use freed up MR for this kind of move.
Hines is awfully busy in the downtown office world these days, with River Point Tower gathering steam and another two developments possible pending city approval, according to Crain's (by subscription). At this point, it seems unlikely that the paired plans for this site will achieve the 1.5M-square-foot zoning cap, but they could easily top one million. On Hines' grand ambitions, fellow developer Steven Fifield offers this: "We've had a four-year hiatus (on leasing), and a lot of companies are bursting at the seams because they've deferred real estate decisions. If Chicago goes back to absorbing a million-and-a-half square feet a year, the West Loop can only accommodate the demand for five or six years. The West Loop could literally be filled in." A rosy scenario, but fun to ponder. At the very least, it looks as if we can finally bid farewell to one very large surface lot.
·Hines to buy land for another West Loop office tower [Crain's]
·River Point Developer Presents Plans at Community Meeting [Curbed Chicago]