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Shiny new office tower still planned to replace Chicago’s old General Growth Building?

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A new rendering hints that the on-again, off-again redevelopment plan for the site may be happening after all

Standing at just five stories tall, Chicago’s squatty General Growth Building has been in the crosshairs for redevelopment for some time. Designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White—the renowned firm behind the Merchandise Mart, Field Museum, and the Wrigley Building—the General Growth property was purchased by a joint venture between Howard Hughes and Development Resources in 2014. Things, however, got ugly the following year when Hughes transferred control to a subsidy and changed the rules of the deal, prompting litigation.

Lawsuits notwithstanding, could this prime riverfront site be finally moving towards a higher use? An uncredited, low-resolution rendering of a glassy (presumedly office) high-rise tower recently appearing on the development-watching forum suggests the answer may very well be yes.

While it’s unclear if the image shows a dormant design, a conceptual placeholder, or indeed the first glimpse of an active proposal, it undoubtedly means someone is—or at least was—taking the redevelopment of this location very seriously. With General Growth’s lease not set to expire until 2019, it may be a little longer until anything official is revealed. Stay tuned.