|Wolf Point Towers|
Wolf Point South Tower is the tallest of three planned buildings to be developed in the Near North Side community area of Chicago. It is planned for the Wolf Point property at the fork in the Chicago River in Downtown. The building was originally planned to be 950 feet (289.56 m) tall. However, in late 2018, the naming rights (Salesforce Tower Chicago) were sold for a redesigned tower of 835 feet (255 m).
On January 26, 2012, the Chicago Sun-Times broke the story that the Kennedy family was planning a three-tower development at Wolf Point. 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. The South Tower would be the tallest of these buildings.
The property upon which the development was planned is historic and drew scrutiny by critics. 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. 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. Chicago Tribune Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Blair Kamin felt that the initial plans presented by Christopher G. Kennedy needed some work.
On October 30, 2012, a revised plan was presented that included more open space. In November the responses to the revisions were negative, and Reilly withdrew the proposal on November 27. 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.
In May 2013, opponents of the planned development filed suit in United States Federal Court. 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." The Wolf Point Towers broke ground in March 2014. Neighboring Wolf Point West Tower had its groundbreaking ceremony on July 18, 2014. The building opened for residence on January 13, 2016.
In July 2015, a rumor emerged that the South Tower might exceed 1,000 feet (304.80 m) based on revised renderings. However, October 2016 plans showed the building had been scaled back to 950 feet (289.56 m). On November 30, 2018, Salesforce committed to a 17-year $475 million 500,000-square-foot (46,452 m2) lease in the tower commencing in 2023. The lease included naming rights for redesigned building to be named Salesforce Tower Chicago with a reduced height of 835 feet (255 m).
On April 2, 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic slowdown that jeopardized construction projects around the world, the project secured a $500 million-plus construction loan and construction commenced within 2 days.