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New Wells Street office tower moves one step closer to breaking ground

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The high-rise project replaces a demolished Loop parking garage

A street level rendering of 145 S. Wells.
Thomas Roszak Architecture

With loft-style, amenity-rich boutique office spaces all the rage in places like River North and Fulton Market, the trend is poised to spread to Chicago’s central Loop. Late last week, the City issued the first construction permit for a 20-story example slated for 145 S. Wells Street.

Designed by architect-developer Thomas Roszak, the upcoming building is expected to include ground floor retail space, parking for 24 vehicles on its second level, and an indoor/outdoor rooftop tenant amenity area with fire pits, table tennis, a golf simulator, wading pool, and a bar.

According to updated renderings, the exterior of the project has changed slightly since it was first revealed in January. The zig-zagging, maze-like facade of the previous design has been swapped for a perhaps less eye-catching pattern of gray and white panels.

An earlier rendering [left] versus the most recent image of the project [right].
Thomas Roszak Architecture

Thanks to its dense underlying zoning, 145 S. Wells has managed to move forward relatively under the radar and will be constructed “as of right” without a zoning change from the City. An unremarkable four-story concrete parking structure at the address was demolished this spring.

Most new Class A office developments require a sizable space commitment from a so-called anchor tenant to kick-off construction, but smaller projects can sometimes gamble and break ground before signing any leases. While a speculative 20-story office project five blocks away at 625 W. Adams followed this model, it’s unclear if 145 S. Wells will push forward before inking any deals.

Thomas Roszak Architecture
Thomas Roszak Architecture
Thomas Roszak Architecture
Thomas Roszak Architecture