Wolf Point East Tower is the second tallest of three buildings being developed in the Near North Side community area on the Wolf Point property at a fork in the Chicago River in downtown Chicago. The building is planned to be approximately 60 stories and 660 feet (201.2 m) tall. It will have 698 units. Although originally intended to be a mixed use building when planned in 2012 and approved in 2013, the building was reenvisioned as an apartment building in 2016. Construction began in 2017.

Background

Map depicting Wolf Point (area owned by the Kennedy family in black, with approximate area of the historical Wolf Point settlement in red)
Map depicting Wolf Point (area owned by the Kennedy family in black, with approximate area of the historical Wolf Point settlement in red)

On January 26, 2012, the Chicago Sun-Times broke the story that the Kennedy family was planning a three-tower development at Wolf Point.[1][2] On May 8, 2012, Chicago Alderman Brendan Reilly announced that a three-tower proposal for Wolf Point had been made including buildings of approximately 900 feet (274.32 m), 750 feet (228.60 m) and 525 feet (160.02 m) and that plans would be made public on May 29. In a formalization of the proposal later that year the East Tower continued to be planned at 750 feet (228.60 m).[3][4] By October 2016 the height of the east tower had been revised down to 675 feet (205.74 m), and the south tower revised to 950 feet (289.56 m).[5] The October 2016 revision was estimated to have 62 stories by on source and 66 by another.[5][6] As of March 2017, some sources still felt the building might be 66 stories and encompass 707 apartment units,[7] but when the building permit for construction was issued on June 22, 2017, it seemed that the plans were for a 60-story, 698-unit, 660-foot (201.17 m) building.[8] By June 28, the $380 million construction project was backed by a $200 million loan led by Bank of America and construction had begun.[9] Occupancy was expected in 2019.[10]

Location

The site of Wolf Point South Tower in March 2014
The site of Wolf Point South Tower in March 2014

The property upon which the development was planned is historic and drew scrutiny by critics.[11] Plans for the tower development were presented as scheduled by the Kennedy family on land that they own in the River North neighborhood at the confluence of South, North, and Main Branches of the Chicago River southwest of the Merchandise Mart complex.[12][13][14] As plans for the Kennedy proposal were developing on the north bank of Wolf Point, a plan for a 45- to 50-story office building on the west bank called River Point were progressing according to Robert Sharoff of The New York Times.[15] Chicago Tribune Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Blair Kamin felt that the initial plans presented by Christopher G. Kennedy needed some work.[16]

History

West Tower under construction
West Tower under construction

On October 30, 2012, a revised plan was presented that included more open space.[17][18] In November the responses to the revisions were negative,[19] and Reilly withdrew the proposal on November 27.[20] The Chicago Plan Commission approved the plans for the entire three-tower development that included 1,410 residential units, 450 hotel rooms and 1,285 parking stalls on January 24, 2013.[21][22]

In May 2013, opponents of the planned development filed suit in United States Federal Court.[23] On November 19, 2013, U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve ruled that the valuable and iconic views of downtown are not something that can be constitutionally protected saying "Illinois courts do not recognize property values, air, or light as constitutionally protected property interests."[24] The Wolf Point Towers broke ground in March 2014.[25] Neighboring Wolf Point West Tower had its groundbreaking ceremony on July 18, 2014.[26] The building opened for residence on January 13, 2016.[27]

After the 48-story, 485-foot (147.8 m) Wolf Point West Tower was successfully marketed as an apartment building, the East Tower was revamped as an apartment building in 2016.[28][29] 2016 design changes resulted in a greatly reduced footprint and use of only 660 feet (201.2 m) of the 750-foot (228.6 m) entitlement.[30]

The building was designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli & Pappageorge Haymes Partners, developed by Hines Interests and the Kennedy family with backing from the real estate investment arm of the AFL-CIO's pension.[31]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Roeder, David (January 26, 2012). "Kennedys envision 3-tower development along Chicago River". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  2. ^ "Kennedy family eyeing 3-tower development on river's Wolf Point". Chicago Tribune. January 26, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  3. ^ Roeder, David (May 8, 2012). "Wolf Point plan could include 80-story building, alderman says". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on March 12, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  4. ^ Kamin, Blair (May 8, 2012). "Developers to present plans for controversial River North site". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "More Tidbits Trickle Out About Wolf Point East (And a few about Wolf Point South)". Chicago Architecture. October 4, 2016. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  6. ^ Matthews, David (October 3, 2016). "66-Story Wolf Point Tower To Break Ground With New Look". DNAinfo.com. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  7. ^ Gallun, Alby (March 8, 2017). "Kennedys seek buyer for Wolf Point apartment tower". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  8. ^ Koziarz, Jay (June 22, 2017). "Second Wolf Point apartment tower cleared to rise along the Chicago River". Curbed Chicago. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  9. ^ Gallun, Alby (June 28, 2017). "Wolf Point developers land $200 million loan for 60-story tower". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  10. ^ Baiceanu, Roxana (July 4, 2017). "Construction Kicks Off at Chicago's Wolf Point East". Multi-Housing News. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  11. ^ Kamin, Blair (May 10, 2012). "Wolf Point plan deserves scrutiny; Kennedy family and architect Pelli plan complex that includes 900-foot skyscraper". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  12. ^ Roeder, David (May 29, 2012). "Kennedys unveil three-tower plan for Wolf Point site". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  13. ^ Kamin, Blair (May 30, 2012). "$1 billion high-rise project proposed downtown at Wolf Point: 3-building plan, backed by Kennedys, would be biggest Chicago development since recession, financial crisis". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  14. ^ Kamin, Blair (May 30, 2012). "First glimpse of plan for Wolf Point along Chicago River". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  15. ^ Sharoff, Robert (July 11, 2012). "Chicago Attracts New Towers With River Views". The New York Times. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  16. ^ Kamin, Blair (June 3, 2012). "Wolf Point proposal doesn't live up to promise of its site; Kennedy family's $1 billion development, designed by Cesar Pelli, needs substantial reworking". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  17. ^ Ori, Ryan (October 30, 2012). "Kennedy-Hines team unveils changes to plans for Wolf Point". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  18. ^ "Kennedy, developers revise plans for Wolf Point". Chicago Tribune. October 30, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  19. ^ Grossman, Ron (November 16, 2012). "Wolf Point history puts scrutiny on proposed project". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  20. ^ Grossman, Ron (November 27, 2012). "Alderman pulls Wolf Point proposal: Reilly cites last-minute changes to plan". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  21. ^ Roeder, David (January 24, 2013). "Wolf Point 3-tower plan backed by Kennedy family wins city planners' approval". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on February 2, 2013. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  22. ^ Byrne, John (January 24, 2013). "Wolf Point tower development clears first hurdle". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  23. ^ Gallun, Alby (May 31, 2013). "Condo owners sue to block Wolf Point project". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  24. ^ Janssen, Kim (November 19, 2013). "Judge dismisses suit by neighbors to halt development at Wolf Point". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  25. ^ "After Years Of Planning, Wolf Point Construction Finally Begins". Curbed.com. March 21, 2014. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  26. ^ "Construction Begins on Wolf Point West: Luxury rental units, office, retail space and possibly a hotel planned for development". WMAQ-TV. July 18, 2014. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  27. ^ Matthews, David (January 13, 2016). "First Wolf Point Tower Opens for Residents Amid Changing Scene Around River". DNAinfo.com. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  28. ^ Gallun, Alby (April 20, 2016). "Kennedys, Hines plot second Wolf Point apartment tower". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  29. ^ Kamin, Blair (August 28, 2016). "Apartment tower is a promising start for Wolf Point development". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  30. ^ Koziarz, Jay (October 5, 2016). "Downtown Alderman: Wolf Point East tower will rise 660—not 750—feet". Curbed Chicago. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  31. ^ Koziarz, Jay (July 6, 2017). "Crews get to work on 60-story Wolf Point East tower". Curbed Chicago. Retrieved July 7, 2017.

Coordinates: 41°53′15.0″N 87°38′12.4″W / 41.887500°N 87.636778°W / 41.887500; -87.636778