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Michigan Avenue’s 56-story ‘Essex on the Park’ ready to move forward

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A plan to rehab Chicago’s landmarked Essex Inn and build a new 479-unit tower has secured $170 million in financing

Essex on the Park

2017 is shaping up to be a particularly big year for Chicago’s South Loop as a new 600-foot skyscraper moves one step closer to joining South Michigan Avenue’s “Cultural Mile.” Dubbed “Essex on the Park,” the planned 56-story tower is ready to move forward following the recent announcement of a $170 million construction loan by development partners Oxford Capital Group and Quadrum Global, reports Crain’s.

The project will see an old low-rise parking structure at 800 S. Michigan Avenue demolished and replaced by a glassy apartment building designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture. As this tower climbs skyward, the adjacent (and recently landmarked) historic Essex Inn will receive a major overhaul as it is expanded from 254 to 271 guest rooms and rebranded as the Hotel Essex.

The renovations are anticipated to begin in 2018 and will be complete in 2019—the same year the new skyscraper is expected to welcome its first renters into its 479 luxury units. The site’s existing garage was issued a demo permit in late October and, according to images on Chicago Architecture Blog, is now in the process of being barricaded. Once cleared, the site should see construction permits follow in short order.

Essex on the Park