Approved Tribune East Tower at 421 N Michigan Avenue Is Chicago’s Tallest Development

Tribune East Tower. Rendering by Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill ArchitectureTribune East Tower. Rendering by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

The Tribune East Tower, the recently approved supertall expected to rise 1,422 feet, takes the number one spot in YIMBY’s countdown as Chicago’s tallest development. Poised to become Chicago’s second tallest building, Tribune East is part of the Tribune Tower redevelopment project, which includes the conversion of the original Tribune Tower into 162 condominium units. Developers CIM Group and Golub & Company are leading the development of the $700 million structure that will replace a surface parking lot originally used by Chicago Tribune employees.

View of Tribune East Tower. Rendering by Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture

View of Tribune East Tower. Rendering by Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture

Designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the structure will comprise 102 floors and hold a 200-room hotel, 439 rental units, and 125 condominiums. A 687-vehicle parking garage and 14 loading docks will be located on site. The tower will feature a glass and metal façade along the entire height of the building.

Streetscape View of Tribune East Tower. Rendering by Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture

Streetscape View of Tribune East Tower. Rendering by Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture

The development will include upgrades on site for both Upper and Lower E Illinois Street for residents and hotel guests entering the building. The existing Pioneer Court Plaza along N Michigan Avenue will also be renovated to create additional green space and outdoor seating. A new path to Cityfront Plaza will also be included in the new plaza.

Streetscape View of Tribune East Tower. Rendering by Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture

Streetscape View of Tribune East Tower. Rendering by Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture

In its current state, the site, which was originally a parking lot, is now full of construction equipment and supplies including steel beams and decking. The lot is acting as a storage and staging ground for the adjacent Tribune Tower renovation and conversion. Additionally, the property is being used for contractor parking, the onsite field construction office, and to hold a mobile crane.

View of Tribune East Tower Site. Image by Jack Crawford

View of Tribune East Tower Site. Image by Jack Crawford

The lot is bound by E Illinois Street to the north, N St. Clair Street to the east, Pioneer Court to the south, and the Tribune Tower complex to the west. Multiple CTA bus routes are accessed within a two-minute walk from the site. The Grand CTA L station, serviced by the Red Line, is a seven-minute walk away.

View of Tribune East Tower Site. Image by Jack Crawford

View of Tribune East Tower Site. Image by Jack Crawford

Approved by the Chicago Plan Commission and Chicago City Council in May 2020, Tribune East Tower is fully greenlit. Construction is expected to begin in late 2021 or early 2022, with an estimated completion date of 2025.

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4 Comments on "Approved Tribune East Tower at 421 N Michigan Avenue Is Chicago’s Tallest Development"

  1. The World Trade Center in New York achieved its final height of 1,776 feet by adding a 408 foot spire. I know that historically Chicago hasn’t embraced spires. It’s time to get out of that rut. This new development should be topped with a 410 foot spire, bringing the East Tower to a final height of 1,832 feet.

  2. How ironic, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture are behind the design of the tallest towers currently under construction in NYC and Chicago. This is definitely the more handsome of the two. It’s also fascinating that there was a surface parking lot on such prime real estate all these years.

    Looking forward to watching this tower rise!

  3. This building doesn’t qualify as “iconic.” It is a clone of KK100 in Shenzehn. Tribune East has arguably a better façade if they are really going to utilize brass but KK100 has a way better base and street level design with more detailing.

    Chicago should have pushed for something truly unique and innovative here. Not to mention purposely designing the height to not surpass Sears is ridiculous. Pride and ego should motivate the developers to want to build the city’s new tallest after so many decades. This probably won’t break ground anymore anyway. I see a lengthy redesign and scale-back to modest proportions below super-tall status in the future.

    • We sacrifice having amazing base floors to utilitarian storage of cars. Until that changes and we drop our fetish of having millions of cars moving through our dense neighborhoods, what you said about building bases will continue to be true.

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