Developer R2 Companies has proposed a commercial development above the Kennedy Expressway at 708 W Wayman Street in the Fulton River District. Bounded by N Halsted Street to the west, W Wayman Street to the south, and train lines to the north, the site is currently a surface parking lot that tops the Kennedy Expressway.
Designed by Gensler, the proposal is envisioned as a “habitable billboard.” The new building will be a one-of-a-kind retail and park space, consisting of up to 12,500 square feet of retail space. Green park space will top on-site parking and will step up and create a pedestrian connection to N Halsted Street. The development will offer the chance to create publicly accessible open space for residents of the city in an area where land costs make new parkland unfeasible.
The vision is designed as a glass cube-shaped building lifted above the site on columns. According to the developers, this version of the design is conceptual and several other iterations will be released in the future.
Purchased by R2 Companies in 2016, the vision for the site could be completed by 2023. Approvals would be required by the city, Chicago Department of Transportation, and Illinois Department of Transportation.