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Here's the Latest Streeterville Tower Construction Round-Up

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Four high-rises are currently under construction in the neighborhood

As winter comes to a conclusion, construction work continues on four high-rises in the Streeterville neighborhood.

Foundation work continues to chug along at the site of the former Prentice Women's Hospital where Northwestern University is constructing the new Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center. Case Foundation company workers are busy drilling deep and wide caissons that will support the two-phase project.

The first phase is currently underway. The new tower will stand 13 stories tall and is designed to support a vertical expansion, similar to the Illinois headquarters of the Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance company at 300 East Randolph Street. When Northwestern is ready to utilize the additional space provided by phase two, the building would expand upward to approximately 30 stories in total, however no timeline for the completion of the second phase is in place.

The design is by the Chicago based architecture firm of Perkins+Will, who just moved their headquarters from AMA Plaza at 330 North Wabash to the Wrigley Building. The new research facility will have two different facade treatments, along Superior Street, where the main entrance is located, will feature a curved glass facade with a rounded lobe at the northeast corner of the structure, echoing the innovative design of the former Bertrand Goldberg-designed women’s hospital demolished after a long battle to landmark and save the old structure was lost.

The south side of the building will have a long flat facade facing Huron Street, creating a streetwall for the long block between Fairbanks and McClurg. The new building will have a direct linkage to the neighboring Lurie Medical Research center Building to the west and the current home of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) to the east. Northwestern University will be acquiring control of the 19 story RIC building after the organization moves to the new Ability Institute, now in the finishing stages of construction one block to the south on McClurg Court.

The new Gensler designed Ability Institute of RIC is now essentially fully enclosed with its glass curtain wall facade as completion work now moves toward interior build outs.

Further south, work crews with Walsh Construction are getting ready to top out Moment, a 45-story rental tower at 545 North McClurg Court. The building is being developed by Golub & Company, which acquired the property in a land swap deal with RIC. The site of the new rental tower was once a surface parking lot for RIC employees, while the location of the now underway Ability Institute was to be a twin apartment tower development.

Moment features a southern facade with a sawtooth pattern which gives many apartments in the building comparable views of a corner unit. The design by Chicago based Solomon, Cordwell, Buenz and Associates also features a buildout of 6 story mid-rise adjacent to the podium structure along Ohio Street to the north, largely hiding the parking garage from view. The adjacent structure known as Sienna Flats, is comprised of 50 residential units over 2 ground floor retail spaces and is a modification of the original design which was to include medical offices flanking the tower podium. Both the 50 unit mid-rise and the 490 unit tower will share use of the 290 space parking garage positioned into the interior of the block.

To the west, work crews at the second tower of Optima Chicago Center have constructed the parking levels, filling in a gap of the Grand Avenue streetscape where the tower had a slow start to rising out of the ground after foundation work was competed.

The building will feature high-end apartments like the first Optima Chicago Center tower to the west. The complex is being developed by Optima Inc. which is owned by architect David Hovey and is also responsible for the innovative Old Orchard Woods condominiums along the Edens Expressway in Skokie. Optima Chicago Center II will feature a facade of green and red glass, intentionally contrasting with the black and blue exterior of the first tower next door.

·Previous Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center [Curbed Chicago]

·Previous Ability Institute of RIC coverage [Curbed Chicago]

·Previous Optima Chicago Center coverage [Curbed Chicago]