Well on its way to becoming the Windy City’s third tallest building, the upcoming 93-story Vista Tower will redefine Chicago's iconic skyline. Rising at 375 E. Wacker Drive along the south bank of the Chicago River's main branch, the tower will deliver 406 luxury condos and a 192-room five-star hotel to the Lakeshore East neighborhood.
Jointly developed by hometown firm Magellan Development Group and China's Dalian Wanda Group, the angular tower was designed by Jeanne Gang's Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects in collaboration with architect of record bKL Architecture. With a height of 1,186 feet, Vista Tower will become the tallest building in the world designed by a woman-led firm—a title previously held by Jeanne Gang's nearby 859-foot Aqua tower.
Though the ambitious skyscraper is still under construction, here's a preview of what future residents and visitors can expect to experience when Vista Tower officially opens in 2020.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on March 30, 2016 and has been updated to reflect the latest news and information.
The most tangible clue to what Chicago's Vista Tower will be like can be found in the the state-of-the-art sales gallery located at 345 E. Wacker Drive. Here, well-heeled prospective buyers have a chance to inspect sample fixtures and finishes as well as experience the exact view from any given unit via an impressive matrix of 52 flat-screen displays. The ability to electronically visualize an unbuilt space is a fast growing trend in high-end real estate sales and Vista gallery represents the first time this type of technology has been used as a sales tool in Chicago.
The design of the sales center also features many aesthetic nods to Jeanne Gang’s tower with the same alternating "frustums" (or truncated pyramids) that provide the tower its novel undulating appearance repeated in various displays and referenced in the gallery’s trapezoidal wall shapes and patterns. Even the building’s marketing tagline of "no parallels" makes an allusion to the Vista Tower’s angled frustum geometry.
While the first 12 floors of the Vista Tower will be occupied by a Wanda-branded five star hotel, floors 13 through 93 will be dedicated to the building’s residents. Unlike Chicago’s other tall luxury towers like One Bennett Park and 113 E Roosevelt, Vista Tower's residences will be purely condominiums with no rental component whatsoever.
Units are offered in 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom configurations with prices starting around $1 million. Floors 71 through 91 will be occupied by full-floor "Sky Residences" with ceiling heights growing to 11’4" over the 9’4" height found on the levels below. A lone duplex penthouse will take up the tower's top two floors and is estimated to cost a staggering $18 million.
Residents in the Vista Tower will also have access to Club Vista, an amenity suite occupying the building’s entire 47th floor. It will include a fitness center and pool along with a lounge, screening room, demonstration kitchen, private dining area, and a wine storage and tasting facility. The amenity club will also take advantage of the building’s luxury hotel and offer residents many of the same services such as spa treatments. The views from the 47th floor aren't too shabby either.
Construction on the super-tall skyscraper began in the fall of 2016 and is on track to be complete by 2020. With an estimated price tag of $1 billion, Vista Tower not only represents the single largest Chinese real estate investment in Chicago to date, but in the entire United States. While the pricy units within the tower may be out of reach for most Chicagoans, the project will create a bold new peak on the Windy City's world famous skyline.
The development will also pay dividends in the form of improved connectivity as it will extend Upper Wacker Drive to eventually connect with Harbor Drive, providing a new northern access point for Lakeshore East. Crews will also improve pedestrian access between the neighborhood's existing park and the popular Chicago Riverwalk.
- Supertall Vista Tower gets permit for complete build-out [Curbed Chicago]
- What the Studio Gang-designed Wanda Vista supertall means for Chicago [Curbed Chicago]
- Vista Tower Chicago [website]