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First construction permit issued for Michigan Avenue’s ‘Essex on the Park’ tower

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The glassy, 620-foot high-rise will feature 479 luxury rental units

Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture

While the 56-story Essex on the Park tower at 808 S. Michigan Avenue celebrated a formal groundbreaking with shiny shovels and VIP photo-ops back in January, the upcoming high-rise is now ready to begin construction in earnest. Yesterday, the project was granted its first building permit covering work on its foundation and structure up to the underside of the tower’s 6th floor.

Situated directly across from Chicago’s Grant Park, the new South Loop building replaces an old low-rise parking garage previously associated with the neighboring Essex Inn with 479 high-end rental apartments. Slated to feature 84 garage spaces of its own, Essex on the Park will conceal its parking podium behind active use.

Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture

As the tower rises over the next two years, the existing 14-story Essex Inn at 800 S. Michigan will be expanded from 254 to 271 guest rooms, remodeled, and repositioned as the ‘Hotel Essex.’ It will be connected to the new tower and feature shared amenities such as a restaurant, elevated bar, and a soaring indoor winter garden with pool and spa.

Expected to cost $240 million, the project comes from LondonHouse developer Oxford Capital and the designer team at Chicago’s Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture. Both the new tower and renovations to the old Essex Inn structure are anticipated to be complete by 2019.