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Developer's Site Hints at a Rafael Vinoly Designed Tower for the South Loop

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On a subsection of developer Crescent Heights' website, an image has appeared on a page labeled Michigan & Roosevelt, promoting an upcoming development for what is currently a vacant lot. Although the rendering, which only shows the lower floors of a new tower, could just merely be a placeholder design for the purposes of the webpage, the image could also very well be a sneak peek of the proposal said to be designed by well known architect Rafael Vinoly. If the rumors turn out to be true, this would be the first major high-rise project for Vinoly's firm to be located in Chicago. The firm has done some design work in Chicago, specifically the recently completed 10 story University of Chicago's new Medicine Center for Care and Discovery overlooking the eastern edge of Washington Park. The outfit's most recent high-profile design is the nearly complete 432 Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, which is presently New York City's second tallest building.

Crescent Heights currently lists the proposed tower as 1255 South Indiana Avenue, and is rumored to rise 70 floors. According to the high-rise watchers on the SkyscraperPage forums, the tower could rise up to 835 feet to the top of the parapet and 862 feet to the top of a decorative roof structure. If the building does indeed climb to that final height figure, it would be the tallest all-residential building in Chicago, provided nothing more than simple ground floor retail space is also included in the building. At 862 feet, 1255 South Indiana would also steal the title of tallest all-residential building from the already approved 451 East Grand project in Streeterville by Related Midwest and architecture firm Robert A.M. Stern which is expected to top out around 850 feet.

The Crescent Heights webpage also lists 30,000 square feet of retail and 1,900 units, although it would be highly unlikely for these figures to be for only one tower. A second building is expected to be constructed at the southeast corner of Michigan and Roosevelt and as such, the figures could be inclusive of both towers as well as any nearby land holdings which could be considered as part of a phased project. Before the recession occurred, the Enterprise Companies who developed multiple phases of Central Station planned towers on the presently empty land that were expected to rise to 791 feet and 900 feet, filling out the southern streetwall for Grant Park along Roosevelt Road.

At this point in time we will have to wait and see if this little teaser of information is a taste of what is to come. However, with rumors of new towers from Helmut Jahn and Rafael Vinoly coming to the South Loop, the area could see a big boost to its architectural profile and skyline.

Shawn Ursini

·Michigan & Roosevelt [Crescent Heights]
·1255 S Indiana [SkyscraperPage forums]
·Previous South Loop coverage [Curbed Chicago]