A pair of identical glassy 48-story towers each containing 1.2 million square feet of office space could soon be on their way to the 300 block of S. Wacker in Chicago’s central business district. According to Crain’s, the estimated $800 million plan comes from a venture led by local developer John Murphy who reportedly intends to close on the parcels just south of the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower for an undisclosed amount of cash before year’s end.
The proposed development would in effect straddle both sides of the lobby winter garden that connects the existing 65-story tower at 311 S. Wacker to the street. The northern parcel at 301 S. Wacker is currently occupied by a small park and plaza while the southern site located at 321 S. Wacker has long been in use as a parking lot.
With zoning already in place and design work by architect Kohn Pederson Fox Associates complete, the project could be fast-tracked once tenants are secured. Murphy tells Crain’s that construction could finish within two years of signing a deal. While downtown commercial vacancy is at its lowest levels in years, a handful of projects such as 130 N. Franklin and 590 W. Madison are in a similar position, hard at work courting tenants to jump-start construction.