As Chicago’s Magellan Development Group continues work on the 94-story Vista Tower, the busy real estate developer is preparing to unveil its plans for neighboring sites in downtown’s Lake Shore East. Expected to break cover in two weeks at a public meeting, the ambitious plan calls for four individual buildings containing a maximum of 2,040 residential units, 926 hotel rooms, and tens of thousands of square feet of retail space.
According to an email sent Friday evening by the office of Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd), three buildings are slated for the vacant corner where Wacker Drive meets Lake Shore Drive. Known as Parcels I, J, K, and L, the highly-visible location is directly opposite of the site of the failed 2,000-foot Chicago Spire. The three-tower plan would include 1,400 residential dwelling units, 300 hotel rooms, and new retail. For this portion of the mega project, Magellan will team up with Australian construction company LendLease.
Meanwhile, the narrow ‘Parcel O’ wedged between Aqua Tower and the Blue Cross Blue Shield building has been tapped as the location for a single future skyscraper containing 640 residential units and two hotels with a combined 626 keys. Back in 2014, renderings emerged showing a 642-foot hotel/residential combo occupying the oblong site. Credited to Lake Shore East-based bKL Architecture, the older 2014 design has likely evolved since then.
While additional details are still pretty thin, more will be revealed when the development team is set to publicly present their plans. Hosted by Ald. Reilly and the New Eastside Association of Residents (NEAR), the meeting is scheduled to take place Monday, July 10 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM in the ballroom of the nearby Hyatt Regency Hotel at 151 E. Upper Wacker Drive.
The development of Parcels I, J, K, L, and O along with the upcoming second phase of GEMS World Academy will see Lake Shore East essentially completed—save for Magellan’s small parcel between The Shoreham and The Landcaster. Built on a site once occupied by a rail yard and then a nine-hole golf course, the 28-acre community has been a work in progress for 15 years and is considered a triumph of modern urban planning and design.