While it’s understood that a high-rise apartment tower is quietly in the works to replace the low-rise building at the northwest corner of Chicago’s Michigan Avenue and Wacker Place, the design of the long-rumored building has remained elusive. But now thanks to a handful of images posted on the development monitoring forum at skycraperpage.com, we have a decent—albeit unconfirmed—idea of what could rise on this underutilized downtown site.
According to the online message board, the glassy tower would top out at 475 feet and includes a multi-story flagship retail space above 30 below grade parking spaces. Chicago-based design firm bKL Architecture is rumored to be involved with the project after a preliminary model of the tower was spotted in its Lakeshore East office.
The distressed four-story building at 300 N. Michigan Avenue was purchased by prominent Chicago developer Sterling Bay back in 2013. The firm’s Managing Principal Andy Gloor confirmed last fall that a residential high-rise was indeed planned for the site. More recently, the Chicago Tribune reported that Sterling Bay would team up with Chicago’s Magellan Development for the 300 N. Michigan project with Chinese-owned Wanxiang Estate Group serving as equity partner.
Historically, the stretch of Michigan Avenue immediately south of the Chicago River received little attention compared to its famous Magnificent Mile neighbor. Things are now changing thanks to increased foot traffic driven by Millennium Park. This so-called ‘Millennium Mile’ has already seen the addition of the LondonHouse Hotel and a 41-story apartment tower known as Mila. Meanwhile, the old Atlantic Bank Building at 168 N. Michigan Avenue is in the process of being transformed into the 212-room Hotel Julian.