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Proposed Loop Office Tower Stacks on Five More Stories

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The new design for 130 North Franklin was unveiled earlier this week at a public meeting held by developer Tishman Speyer. Unlike developers who construct then flip high-rise developments, particularly office towers, Tishman Speyer is in the property management business and owns 13.5 million square feet in Chicago, making it one of the largest landlords in downtown. The original concept for the office tower was to stand in at about 48 stories with 1.109 million square feet of space, but the revised plan now calls for 53 stories with 1,377,360 square feet of leasable space. If the project moves forward as currently proposed, it will become the largest office tower to begin construction during the post-recession construction boom now underway. The tower's crown is expected to top out 751 feet, allowing this building to clear the forest of adjacent tall buildings whose heights plateau in the 550-650 foot range.

The design by Krueck+Sexton Architects, who also designed the Spertus Institute on South Michigan Avenue, calls for a faceted glass facade with multiple angles. The base of the tower will also include a chamfered corner on its north end, allowing for the sidewalk to expand gradually into a plaza that will be located at the southwest corner of Randolph and Franklin Streets. Because the tower site runs through the full block between Washington and Randolph, a plaza space will run the full 380 feet along Franklin Street with the ground floor lobby setback from the property line. In total, the outdoor space at ground level will comprise 20,703 square feet, or just under 1/3 of the total site area.

The tower's ground floor will also contain about 14,000 square feet of retail below a podium structure which is to contain a 190 space parking garage. The garage will also be clad with the same faceted glass facade treatment as the tower. The garage entrance is to be located on Washington Street with the vehicular exit positioned on Randolph Street, creating a efficient one-way traffic pattern through the property and minimizing backups which could block the heavy pedestrian flows on the sidewalk. The 190 parking spaces planned is actually a substantial reduction of total parking as the surface lot on the north half of the site currently parks up to 290 cars today. It is anticipated employees of this building's future tenants will arrive on foot as the location is in a very transit rich area located between the Loop L and the West Loop Metra stations. It is expected that more than 3,600 employees could work here if the tower is fully leased up.

Construction is expected to begin in 2016 with completion scheduled for sometime in late 2018 to early 2019. Tishman is in negotiations with several prospective tenants, and while no official leases have been signed as of yet, construction will proceed next year after all approvals are in place. Be sure to check out the snazzy promotional video and Tishman's project website.

Shawn Ursini

·Angular Glass Tower at 130 North Franklin Moving Forward [Curbed Chicago]
·Tishman Speyer's Loop Office Tower Inching Toward Reality [Curbed Chicago]