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A look at residential high-rise construction on Chicago’s Near North Side

Take a photographic tour of some of the projects currently headed to River North, Cabrini, and Gold Coast

All Photos by Harry Carmichael (unless indicated otherwise)

A virtual forest of tower cranes, Chicago’s Near North Side has been abuzz with new construction activity thanks in part to the region’s relatively mild winter. While the area has essentially been ground zero for the Windy City’s luxury rental boom, a handful of high-end condo projects are joining the fray. Here’s a brief update on some of the more visible projects headed to River North, Gold Coast, and Cabrini Green.

Gallery on Wells

Loewenberg Architects

↑ The 39-story, 450-unit "Gallery on Wells" rental apartment tower has been steadily climbing at the former site of Planet Hollywood/Gino’s East at 167 West Erie in the heart of River North for some time. Designed by Loewenberg Architects for Magellan Development, the brick and glass clad tower is also adding an amenity deck to the roof of the neighboring “Effen Vodka” office building at 640 N. LaSalle.

640 N. Wells

Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture

↑ Located just across the street from the Gallery project, this 280-foot glassy rental tower penned by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) for JDL Development topped-out recently. Resembling several off-set stacked boxes, the modern looking building will eventually deliver 251 units. The project replaces the River North’s kitschy Ed Debevic's restaurant.


FitzGerald Associates

↑ This 24-story, 245-unit rental tower is rising immediately west of Assumption Catholic Church, replacing a surface parking lot at 311 W. Illinois. Developed by John Buck Company and designed by FitzGerald Associates, the 298-foot tower will feature a roof deck, 3,000 square feet of retail space, and 109 parking spaces. The project also will see a third level added to the church’s two-story priory building along Orleans.

Centrum Hubbard

Hirsch Associates

↑ The first of a pair of buildings planned for the southwest corner of Wells and Hubbard by Centrum Partners and architect Hirsch Associates, the 195-unit rental tower at 221 W. Hubbard recently received its full building permit to rise 23-stories. It will eventually be joined by a nine-story, CTA track-hugging office building known by the name 412 N. Wells. Plans also call for new ground floor retail and parking for 92 vehicles.

The Hudson

Pappageorge Haymes

↑ The 24-story rental building at 750 N. Hudson recently topped-out and took down its highly-visible light-adorned tower crane. Designed by Pappageorge Haymes Partners for the Onni Group, the new tower will feature 240 rental units and roughly 10,000 square feet of ground level retail space when it officially opens for business later this year.

The Sinclair


↑ After a lengthy multi-year approval process, Fifield Companies' 390-unit apartment development known as The Sinclair broke ground in late 2015. The 35-story Gold Coast tower is starting to really make its presence known as it reaches skyward above the underground CTA stop at Clark and Division. Designed by SCB, the project also replaces an old Jewel grocery store with a new flagship store.

No. 9 Walton


↑ While every project featured so far has been stuffed full of new rental apartments, JDL Development has instead opted for high-end condos for its No. 9 Walton project. The Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture-designed high-rise actually grew in both height and unit count after construction began by taking advantage of Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity Bonus system. The tower will rise 37 stories and feature just 71 ultra-luxe residences with prices reaching as high $1,800 per square foot in some cases.

400 W. Huron

Berkelhamer Architects

↑ Meanwhile, crews are putting the finishing touches on another luxury condo project at 400 W. Huron. Designed by Berkelhamer Architects, the 15-story, 46-condo development from Smithfield Properties quickly sold out after sales began in early 2015. Units in the ultra-modern, charcoal-hued building reportedly ranged in price from $1.3M to $2.15M.