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Chicago breaks ground on 3,600 unit Riverline mega-development in the South Loop

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The multi-phase waterfront project will create nothing short of an entire new neighborhood


Yesterday, City of Chicago officials joined development partners CMK Companies and Lendlease to celebrate the ceremonial start of the South Loop’s massive Riverline project — one of the most anticipated and arguably important developments to come to Chicago’s near south side in recent years. While the 14-acre site bounded by Harrison, Roosevelt, Wells, and the Chicago River is currently little more than vacant land straddling Bertrand Goldberg’s 1986 River City, the Riverline development will transform the sprawling parcel with the creation of new residential, retail, and public open space.


Though the completed development will consist of over 3,600 residences spread across eight waterfront buildings by project architect/master planner Perkins+Will, Riverline will be constructed in phases. The first tranche of the multi-year construction process will consist of a trio of residential buildings.

Known as Ancora or Building D (the Riverline plots were initially lettered north to south starting with A), the first structure will be a 29-story tower containing 420 rental units. It will be joined by an 18-story, 251-unit tower dubbed Current (Building G) and a series of nine three-story townhouses collectively referred to as Watershed (Building H). Phase 1 will also contain 3.5 acres of green space and a naturally landscaped riverwalk from landscape architect Hoerr Schaudt.

Rendering of an apartment inside Ancora (Riverline Building D)

Riverline — along with the pending redevelopment of 62 acres of vacant land to its immediate south — is expected to play an important role in extending the Windy City’s central core south along the Chicago River. Formerly a highway for heavy industry, the popular waterway is in the midst of a transformation into Chicago’s next great frontier for recreation and catalyst for mixed-use development.

Photos by Jay Koziarz
Colin Kihnke, President of CMK Companies speaking at Riverline’s ground breaking
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Danny Solis (25th), and Department of Planning and Development Commissioner David Reifman.
The Chicago River’s east bank, future site of Riverline’s public riverwalk


600 S Wells St, Chicago, IL 60607, USA