Back in July, Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group announced via a simple press release their intentions to build a 1,000+ foot supertall tower in Lakeshore East. However, nobody in the United States, let alone in Chicago, could say a word about the project on the record, so despite having a name, a design render, and pretty solid evidence of who designed it, the Wanda tower had to remain an unconfirmed rumor. That changes today, however, as the Chicago Tribune has reported that the tower is indeed a reality and confirms that local starchitect Jeanne Gang is indeed the designer behind it.
Technically, the Tribune only reports that the building will be announced later this week, but for a project that's only been spoken about in assumptions and hunches, this is a major confirmation that the 89 floor skyscraper isn't just a fantasy. According to the Tribune, the entire cost of the three-tower structure is unknown, but Wanda will be kicking in $900 million to help cover it. With the current design at 1,148 feet, this tower would become the third tallest in Chicago, and with its prominent location along the main branch of the river and so near the lakefront the building would likely become an iconic part of our city's skyline, as evidenced in these renderings we published showing how the building would be visible throughout town.
While the article doesn't contain any new imagery, the article's description, "three interlocking, zigzagging high-rises" sounds exactly like the render Wanda released in the summer.
As for that shaky semi-announcement in July, the Tribune reports that Wanda issued that press release before any plans had been presented to the city. It feels like they seriously jumped the gun on the announcement, as it seemed to catch everybody by surprise, including the people working on the building. Chicago developers know not to start talking publicly about a major development until they've presented it to the city, and we've seen potentially huge developments get casually dismantled by aldermen who didn't like that they weren't told about the project before it hit the newspapers. Fortunately, the mixup this summer didn't end in the premature demise of this megaproject. We'll be looking forward to the official announcement this week.
·Chinese developer plans tower designed by Jeanne Gang of Aqua fame [Chicago Tribune]
·Is This Wild Supertall the Next Jeanne Gang Tower for Lakeshore East? [Curbed Chicago]
·Here's How The New Wanda Supertall Would Change Our Skyline [Curbed Chicago]