On the heels of securing $170 million in construction financing, a new 56-story skyscraper overlooking Chicago’s Grant Park and Lake Michigan will be officially underway as of this morning. Dubbed Essex on the Park, the 620-foot project comes from LondonHouse developer Oxford Capital and the designers at Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture. The development team will host a ground breaking ceremony today, announced Mayor Rahm Emmanuel late yesterday, according to DNAinfo.
The Essex project involves the construction of a 479-unit luxury rental building at 808 S. Michigan Avenue as well as the renovation of the neighboring 1961 Essex Inn at 800 S. Michigan. The soon-to-be-landmarked midcentury modern hotel will be expanded from 254 to 271 guest rooms and repositioned as the ‘Hotel Essex.’ Shared amenities include a new chef-driven three-meal restaurant, a bi-level sky bar named ‘SX,’ and a multi-story indoor winter garden with pool and spa.
As far as construction is concerned, the first order of business will removing the property’s existing low-rise garage. A demo permit for the old parking structure was issued in October, with barricades and fencing arriving on-site earlier this month. Both the new tower and renovations to the existing hotel structure are anticipated to be complete by 2019.