One week ago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the city had hit another post-recession construction record number of active tower cranes in a single calendar year. This year, Chicago has seen 54 tower cranes rise into the skyline to build new high-rise projects—a notable uptick from the 48 active tower cranes that worked on Chicago construction sites in 2016.
While the dozens of tower cranes have been spotted at construction sites all over the city, downtown’s River North area has been a major benefactor of Chicago’s high-rise construction boom. Since the deep freeze of the recession thawed out, numerous new high-rises have been constructed in River North, and many more are still on the way.
The last time to took a look at construction sites in River North was not quite three months ago, and already, a lot of progress has been made in that time. Here’s a quick tour of what’s under construction in the downtown neighborhood.
↑ 8 East Huron
This glassy new apartment tower is close to wrapping up exterior work. Designed by architects Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, the new 26-story tower will feature 101 rentals, 31 parking stalls, and 2,756 square feet of ground level retail space. The building’s residential amenities are primarily concentrated on the 24th floor and include such perks as a fitness center, demonstration kitchen, outdoor grilling stations, and infinity pool.
This new mixed-use development is a twofer with one tower being office space while the other is luxury apartments. A lot of progress has been made since earlier this summer as workers rushed to complete the project. Apartments in the 193-unit tower are now leasing with a one-month free rent incentive. The curved glassy facade of the shorter office tower has been finished, filling in what was a challenging development location.
Yet another River North luxury apartment tower is prepping for its grand debut. Dubbed 3eleven, the new 25-story tower at 311 W. Illinois Street will welcome its first tenants in January 2018. With a tower design from FitzGerald Associates Architects and interiors by Juan Gabriel Moreno Architects, the project takes a much more design-focused approach compared to many of the other new towers currently sprouting up in River North. The upcoming development includes 245 rental apartments, a 109-stall parking garage and 3,100 square feet of ground-level retail space.
↑ Renelle on the River
Construction on this new upscale condo development is just getting started. Following what seemed like a full year of demolition and site prep, the upcoming 18-story building recently landed a full construction permit estimated at $52 million. Developed by Chicago’s Belgravia Group and designed by bKL Architecture, Renelle features 50 high-end, three- and four-bedroom residences. According to its developers, condominium pricing starts around $1.3 million and can well exceed $3 million for some of the roomier, higher floor penthouse units.
↑ Moxy Hotel
Construction in River North also includes the Moxy hotel at 530 N. LaSalle Street. Unlike many of the other projects in the area, the upcoming Moxy is being built as of right without any changes to zoning. Construction permits issued late last year helped solve the mystery behind this short mid-rise project from River North’s Albert Friedman and partner White Lodging Services. Many details remain murky, but the official Moxy website signals a mid-2018 opening.
↑ Found Hotel
This former SRO is currently undergoing a transformation into a new boutique hotel. Located at 611 N. Wells, the four-story structure will eventually reopen as the Found Hotel and feature 60 guest rooms, a ground floor cafe, and a basement speakeasy. The 25,000-square-foot Olympia Building is situated in the heart of River North’s high-rise construction boom with the new 640 N. Wells and Gallery on Wells located nearby.
↑ Gallery on Wells
This recently completed high-rise at 637 N. Wells Street has just opened to renters. Standing at 39 stories, the new apartment tower offers a 442-unit mix of studios, convertibles, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. In addition, the development features one of downtown’s largest amenity decks occupying nearly the entire roof of the adjacent office building at 640 N. LaSalle.
↑ 640 North Wells
The new apartment tower at 640 N. Wells joins a crowded luxury rental market in River North. And as such, the brand new development is offering specials and same-day leases and immediate move-ins to tenants. Designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, the offset stacked structure stands at 23 stories and delivers 250 new apartments and 8,000 square feet of ground-level retail to the River North neighborhood.
The 15-story Marlowe comes from Miami’s Lennar Multifamily Communities and Chicago architects Antunovich Associates. Similar to the under-construction Moxy hotel, Marlowe is being constructed under existing zoning without any changes. In total, the new development will feature 176 apartments, garage parking for 84 vehicles, over 10,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space, and shared amenity space for its tenants.
↑ The Ardus
North Side developer Cedar Street Cos. are transforming a former office building and adding a new glassy addition to make way for 149 new apartments on LaSalle Street. Dubbed Flats River North, the new development will feature just 31 parking spaces and will boast a large rooftop amenity deck as well as 10,000 square feet of ground level retail space.
↑ 110 W. Huron Street
Yet one more hotel is joining the slew of new offerings for River North. Located just across the street from competing hotels such as the Godfrey and Felix, the upcoming 17-story hotel for Huron Street will feature 206 guest rooms, ground floor retail space, a rooftop restaurant, and no on-site parking. With a glassy design by NORR Architects, work is just beginning in earnest on the new hotel project.
↑ 400 W. Huron
This newly completed 15-story condo tower features only 26 units. However, being originally proposed and unveiled over three years ago, 400 W. Huron has helped to kickstart the low-density, low unit count but high-end condo market that has emerged in River North over the last few years.
↑ The Hudson
Previously a vacant lot at the corner of Chicago and Hudson avenues, the site of The Hudson is just a stone's throw from the old Montgomery Ward Company Complex that houses Groupon and other high-tech startups. The recently completed rental tower delivers another 240 apartments to the neighborhood’s luxury rental market. And like other new rental towers in the River North area, The Hudson is offering free rent specials and immediate move-ins.
↑ The Ronsley
A rare adaptive reuse project for River North, this new development from LG Development Group will feature upscale condos. While high-end condos have taken a backseat to luxury apartments since the real estate crash and recession, The Ronsley and a handful of other projects in River North are delivering new for-sale inventory for the area.
- Another look at construction sites around River North [Curbed Chicago]
- Chicago hits another post-recession construction record [Curbed Chicago]