Infrastructure work is well underway for The 78, a 62-acre megadevelopment planned by Related Midwest for the South Loop area. Set to eventually house more than 13 million square feet of building space and cost $7 billion in total, the vast riverside project is being divided into separate phases, the first of which has been dubbed The 78 North.
The flagship piece for this upcoming stage will be a pair of connected office skyscrapers known as Gateway Towers. At 755 feet and 525 feet, the taller of the two will measure in at eighth place for Chicago YIMBY’s countdown of tallest new developments. This taller west tower will span 50 floors and 1.2 million square feet, while its shorter sibling will occupy 35 floors and 800,000 square feet.
Skidmore Owings & Merrill is the design architect for both The 78’s masterplan and its sub-projects like the Gateway Towers. Both will incorporate a series of setbacks allowing for subtle tapering profiles, and will be connected by a curvilinear multi-level skybridge near the base. The inward-facing sides of the buildings utilize a more open glass curtain wall, while their opposing outward-facing walls will feature a grated motif with a bronze metal paneling.
The interconnected superstructure will lie at the northeast corner of The 78’s acreage, with its entrance at the intersection of W Roosevelt Road and S Clark Street. Adjacent bus stops along these two cross streets are serviced by Routes 12, 18, 24, and 62. Located a four-minute walk east from this intersection is additional service for Route 29, with stops at State & Roosevelt.
Nearest CTA L access includes Roosevelt station, a five-minute walk east, with service for the Green, Orange, and Red Lines. An additional Red Line station will also be added as part of The 78 masterplan, located a seven-minute walk south to Clark & 15th.
For outdoor space, a seven-acre park will be built adjacent to the tower pair. Meanwhile, existing park locations within the near vicinity include but are not limited to British School Rooftop Park, Roosevelt (Theodore) Park, Jones (Mary Richardson) Park, and the southwest corner of the massive 319-acre Grant Park.
Initial work on the development’s central transportation artery known as the Wells Wentworth Connection is currently nearing completion. Once finished, work on the first phase of buildings (including Gateway Towers) will commence, and is expected to cost more than $2 billion and reach completion by 2024.