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New Wacker Drive office tower with riverwalk scores its first construction permit

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The 800-foot tower is the latest project to join Chicago’s riverfront development boom

Goettsch Partners

Downtown’s next office tower is officially ready to rise along the banks of the Chicago River. Known by its address of 110 N. Wacker, the glassy high-rise will occupy the site of the former General Growth Building—a 1950s-era low-rise that quickly bit the dust over the course of the last two months.

With demolition complete, the project received its first construction permit on Monday. Estimated at $40 million, the scope of the work includes the tower’s caisson foundations, two levels of below-street parking, and a portion of its structural core:

Foundation and partial superstructure for a fifty-four (54) story office building to include ground floor slab and building core to the fourth floor, with two (2) basements to include parking on lower level one and lower level two (110 parking spaces), ground floor retail and associated site work as per plans.

Goettsch Partners

Developed by Texas-based Howard Hughes Corporate and Chicago’s Riverside Investment & Development, the tower is zoned to rise 800 feet. The design, penned by local architecture firm Goettsch Partners, calls for a striking waterfront promenade cut below the skyscraper’s serrated western facade.

Construction will utilize both terrestrial and barge-based equipment and is expected to be complete in late 2020 or early 2021. Bank of America signed a 500,000-square-foot lease to move into the new building as its anchor tenant. The deal could include naming rights and likely some sort of exterior signage.

When complete, 110 N. Wacker will be the third glassy office building to rise more than 50 stories along the Chicago River over the past several years. Close to downtown’s largest commuter train stations, the immediate area recently welcomed the 52-story River Point tower and the 54-story high-rise at 150 N. Riverside.

As for the demolished building that previously stood at 110 N. Wacker, pieces of its midcentury steel facade will be incorporated into the base of the new tower per an agreement reached following federal historic review. Its former tenant, GGP, moved across the river to River North Point—a building formerly known as the Apparel Mart.

Goettsch Partners
Goettsch Partners