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Site prep underway for Rafael Viñoly’s 76-story South Loop tower

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The imposing 792-unit apartment project is expected to begin foundation work next month

Photos by Jay Koziarz

While it’s not quite time to add the upcoming 800-plus-foot skyscraper designed by Uruguay-born starchitect Rafael Viñoly to the Curbed Chicago high-rise construction map, dirt is moving at the prime parcel located at the southern edge of Chicago’s Grant Park. This week brought notable progress including the addition of new fencing and the destruction of the site’s existing pavement. The recent action seems to be entirely consistent with the tentative pre-construction time table that was distributed to nearby residents last week.

1200 S. Indiana pictured center; future phase outlined to the right
Rafael Viñoly Architects

With its foundation permit already issued, the South Loop project is expected to begin caisson work some time in January. Once drilling begins in earnest, the 792-unit rental project will officially take its place as the second tallest building under construction in Chicago—edging out Streeterville’s One Bennett Park while falling well short of the 1,186-foot-tall Vista Tower currently on its way to Lake Shore East.

Described as a modern homage to the “bundled tube” layout pioneered by Chicago’s Willis (Sears) Tower, the 76-story high-rise at 1200 S. Indiana the only the first tranche of a multi-phase project from developer Crescent Heights. Future phases call for a taller twin tower at the empty lot to the immediate west plus a low-rise townhouse component to the southeast.