It’s been more than a year since city officials approved a new observation deck and a 1,185-foot exterior elevator for Chicago’s Aon Center, and the sky-high attraction is finally getting ready to move forward.
Although construction was initially expected to start in the spring of 2019 and finish by 2021, the addition is now set to begin work in the third quarter of this year and wrap up in 2022, according to a recent Chicago Tribune report.
The building’s owners, developer 601W Companies, will team with Legends—the NY firm behind Manhattan’s One World Observatory—to operate and jointly own the upcoming Chicago project. The venture is currently working to secure construction financing, said the Tribune.
The yet-to-be-named Aon observatory will remove two out of every three of the tower’s vertical columns on its top two floors. The space will include a restaurant, a bar, and a “Sky Summit” thrill ride that will dangles visitors over the edge over the tower’s roof in a glass-bottomed gondola.
The project will become the city’s third public observation deck, joining the Skydeck at Willis Tower and 360 Chicago at the former Hancock Center. Provided it can stick to the third-quarter 2020 start date, work on the attraction will begin as nearby Vista Tower—which will dethrone Aon for the title of Chicago’s third-tallest building—finishes.
Around the same time, locals and tourists alike should expect to deal with even more construction near Millennium Park as work gets underway on the observatory’s ground-level entrance pavilion as well as a 46-story apartment tower slated for the long-vacant site at 222 N. Stetson Avenue, according to the Tribune.
Commission approves amended plan for the Aon Center at 200 E. Randolph St. to allow for a new observation deck with an exterior elevator, a “thrill ride” and the construction of North America's tallest glass elevator at 1,185 feet. pic.twitter.com/6Z7hXo1zux— Chicago DPD (@ChicagoDPD) December 20, 2018