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A look inside the four-tower ‘urban campus’ planned for 700 W. Chicago

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A new animation provides the best look yet at the seven-acre redevelopment


While the $700 million redevelopment of the Chicago Tribune’s riverfront real estate may still be some ways off, a new video provides our best look yet at the four-tower complex planned for 700 W. Chicago Avenue. The two-minute animation, which comes from Hungarian-based visualization company ZOAstudio, showcases sweeping 360-degree views of the mixed-use project as well as a first look at its interior amenities including a food hall, fitness center, and roof deck.

Known officially as 700 at The River District, the River West proposal is a joint venture between Tribune Media and Riverside Investment & Development. The plan by architect Goettsch Partners currently calls for three loft-style office towers, a 300-unit residential high-rise, and a 4.5-acre waterfront park with a publicly-accessible riverwalk.

The project is being marketed as a “Connected Campus.” The term not only suggests it will be tailor made to suit technology-oriented tenants but also an allusion to the parcel’s proximity to multiple modes of transportation including CTA lines and the Chicago Water Taxi. A planned access road connecting the site to Chicago’s commuter rail hubs also makes a reappearance in the video.

A zoning application for the four-tower development was filed in early September on the heels of a sweeping City Council measure that opened up Chicago’s North Branch Industrial Corridor to new uses such as office and residential. The project still requires City of Chicago approval—and presumably a sizable commitment from an end user—to begin construction.

The 700 at The River District plan is just one component of a much larger master plan for Tribune-owned real estate along the Chicago river. Combined with a 30-acre parcel south of Chicago Avenue which is currently home to the Freedom Center printing plant, the greater River District complex could someday support dozens of mixed-use high-rises.

A rendering of The River District master plan. The four towers of 700 W. Chicago are pictured left.
Solomon Cordwell Buenz

The 37-acre site is one of ten locations that comprised Chicago’s official bid for Amazon’s coveted HQ2 second headquarters deal. The tech giant is expected to announce the winning city in 2018.