Situated directly across the river from downtown Chicago’s upcoming Apple store designed by Foster + Partners, the modernist office tower by Mies van der Rohe is hoping to mirror its waterfront neighbor by adding a flagship retail space of its own. Considered to be the gateway to the 4.6 million square-foot Illinois Center office complex, the 1970 building at 111 E. Wacker is in the process of getting its previously exposed street-level plaza transformed into a new two-story enclosure designed by Goettsch Partners.
The move is part of a larger initiative to reposition the property into a more attractive place to both shop and work. According to a building permit issued for the project last month, the rehab will also include a new lobby and the construction of a covered ped-way connecting 111 E. Wacker to its neighbor at 233 N. Michigan Avenue. A reimagined landscaped plaza with outdoor recliners and fire pits was added to the center of office complex a few years back.
The upgraded retail space at Illinois Center is the latest indicator of the Mag Mile shopping corridor spilling its energy southward over the Chicago River towards Millenium Park. Other projects include the LondonHouse hotel, a new luxury rental tower dubbed MiLa, and the upcoming American Writers Museum which is expected to open this spring.
A marketing video from Jones Lang LaSalle showcasing some of the improvements currently headed to 111 E. Wacker can be viewed below.
- Renovation/alteration permit at 111 E. Wacker Drive [Chicago Cityscape]
- Zell Sells Off Mies van der Rohe's Illinois Center for $375M [Curbed Chicago]