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New 13-story commercial building proposed for Chestnut and Orleans

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While residential towers have cropped up along Orleans, this project is the area’s first new office development

Google Street View

Right on the heels of the Chicago Housing Authority announcing the next phase of the mainly residential redevelopment of the Cabrini-Green neighborhood, another group of developers has filed zoning paperwork in the hopes of bringing new office space to the rapidly changing area. Slated for the vacant lot at the northeast corner of Chestnut and Orleans, the proposed building would rise 13 stories and contain a pair of ground floor commercial bays, a second floor amenity space for office tenants, and interior parking for 15 motor vehicles plus 40 bicycles.

The 176-foot design comes from architecture firm Piekarz Associates who previously explored a much shorter six-story office development at the site one year ago, as reported by Chicago Architecture Blog. Seeking a zoning increase from C1-5 Neighborhood Commercial District to Downtown Mixed Use DX-10, the doubling of the building’s size is a result of the site falling within the newly expanded downtown development boundaries.

If approved, the office project at 859-871 North Orleans would join nearby apartment developments such as Niche 905 and Next. With new mixed-use developments potentially headed to the North Branch Industrial Corridor and the first phase of the massive Atrium Village redevelopment already climbing skyward, Chicago’s Near North Side is in the midst of a major transformation.

An older 2016 rendering of the six-story office project
Piekarz Associates
A poorly-scanned elevation drawing of the latest 13-story version of the proposal.
City of Chicago