Both the Zoning Ordinance Administration and City Council have approved the updated plans for a new development at 400 N Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville allowing the project to move forward. The newest proposal comes after multiple years of negotiations between the developer Related Midwest and city officials.
With architecture firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill in charge of the design, the updated proposal includes two towers, at the heights of 875 feet and 765 feet, with the taller tower slated as the northern tower. The revised plans look to split 1100 residential units between the two buildings, with the previously proposed hotel and condominiums removed. Additionally, the parking will be reduced to 300 spaces and will be located underground. The towers were originally going to be rooted in a four-story podium building, but that was eliminated as part of the revisions due to concerns over sightlines to the river.
Drawings submitted as part of the most recent zoning proposal show the latest design details of the project. The façade will be a glass and aluminum window wall with decorative metal accent panels. As the tower rises, setbacks will be included featuring terraces for residential units. There will also be an acoustical screen at the base along N Lake Shore Drive.
Related Midwest will, per the agreement, commit $10 million to the development of DuSable Park, a plot of land across from the site on the east side of Lake Shore Drive. have also agreed to a list of infrastructure and design improvements at their cost. These include six new security cameras, 38 light fixtures along the Riverwalk and landscaped areas, and improved pedestrian crossings at the intersection of Columbus Drive and Upper North Water Street, the intersection of Peshtigo Court and Illinois Street, and at the southbound Lake Shore Drive off-ramp at Illinois Street. The site also will include Divvy bike rental stations.
The project will be built in two phases, beginning with the northern tower, followed by the southern tower. Related Midwest will conduct a new traffic study after completing construction of the first tower, and before starting construction of the second tower, and make any necessary adjustments to the traffic plan.
Recent images show the site in its current state. The lot sits abandoned with a large hole for the foundation of the failed Chicago Spire development. Across Lake Shore Drive, the parcel for the new DuSable Park sits empty awaiting its design and construction.
Previous reports state that the development is slated to break ground in 2021 with an expected completion in 2023. It is unclear whether this timeline is still accurate, considering the phased approach of construction, but the recent city approval may allow the project to move forward as previously reported.