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Developer to debut new plan for the stalled Chicago Spire site

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Work on the 2,000-foot-tall riverfront skyscraper halted in 2008, never to resume

Is it time to say goodbye to Streeterville’s infamous hole?

After years of rumors and speculation, the official redevelopment plan for the failed Chicago Spire site will finally get its long-awaited public debut.

Developer Related Midwest will present its proposal on Tuesday, May 15 at 6:00 p.m. in the ballroom of Streeterville’s Sheraton Grand Hotel, according to an email notice sent from the office of 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly on Friday.

If it had been completed as planned in 2010, the 2,000-foot Chicago Spire would have become the world’s second tallest building.
Santiago Calatrava

While it’s pretty safe to assume that Related is planning something tall for the prominent 2.2-acre site at 400 N. Lake Shore Drive, details, such as the number of towers, building height, and programming, are still a mystery.

Related’s presentation is scheduled just weeks after a different developer unveiled a 1,422-foot-tall combination hotel and residential proposal a few blocks to the west, next to Tribune Tower.

The original Chicago Spire plan called for an ambitious 2,000-foot unicorn horn-like condo tower designed by Spanish “starchitect” Santiago Calatrava. Construction on the 150-story building began in 2007 but stalled the following year amid the global financial crisis. That resulted in workers leaving behind an unsightly circular pit.

The site eventually changed hands with Related Midwest taking over from Irish-born developer Garrett Kelleher. The new owners hinted at an “architecturally significant” successor for the Spire in 2014, but remained tight-lipped on its plans ever since.

In 2016 the developer added a landscaped berm to the western edge of the property as a courtesy to the site’s immediate neighbors. Related also hired architect Michael Pfeffer from Skidmore Owings & Merrill to work on several high-profile projects including the former Spire parcel.

The upcoming plan for 400 N. Lake Shore Drive is likely to contain improvements for nearby DuSable Park. The Spire’s original developer had pledged a $4.1 million to improve the 3.3-acre waterfront site and the commitment would still stand unless the development team can convince the Chicago City Council to change the terms of the agreement.

The month of May is shaping up to be particularly busy one for Related Midwest with the company also holding the first public meeting for its massive, 62-acre South Loop megaproject.

Known as The 78, the mixed-use development will be the future home of a $1.2 billion university-affiliated innovation center and was one of the sites an Amazon HQ2 delegation toured during a March visit to Chicago. Although Related released preliminary renderings of The 78, the project will still require formal city approval to move forward.

Co-hosted by 25th Ward Alderman Daniel Solis, the presentation for The 78’s is set for Thursday, May 10th at 5:30 p.m. at the IUOE Local 399 at 2260 S. Grove Street in Chinatown.

Chicago Spire

400 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60611 Visit Website


, , IL 60616