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Chicago’s 56-story Essex on the Park tower granted full construction permit

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The newly-issued permit estimates the next phase of construction to cost $160 million


As work progresses on the lower portion of the 56-story Essex on the Park project in the South Loop, the City of Chicago has issued a permit authorizing the upcoming tower to rise to its full anticipated height of 607 feet. Replacing a rather unremarkable parking garage at 808 S. Michigan Avenue, the glassy high-rise broke ground across from Grant Park earlier this Spring. The completed tower will deliver 479 high-end rental apartments, ground floor retail space, and 84 well-concealed parking spaces.

Construction on the new skyscraper will coincide with a revamp of the neighboring 14-story Essex Inn building at 800 S. Michigan. The old hotel will connect to the new tower and see its room count expanded from 254 to 271. The midcentury structure will eventually share amenities such as a restaurant, elevated bar, and an indoor winter garden with its new residential neighbor.

Expected to cost $240 million, the two-building 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 are anticipated to be complete by 2019.

The construction site at 808 S. Michigan.
Harry Carmichael