Quickly rising into the 8th place of this year’s countdown is the mixed-use tower at 160 N Morgan Street in the West Loop. Located just north of famed W Randolph Street in the growing neighborhood, the project recently had its first pieces of facade installed as it grows next to neighborhood stalwart Federales who just announced a Logan Square outpost. Developer Sterling Bay partnered with the Colorado-based equity firm Ascentris, both of which are also working on the 11th place of the countdown 225 N Elizabeth nearby, with bKL Architecture leading the design.
With a masonry-clad podium and expressive Y-braces holding up the tower above, the building will rise 30 stories and 350 feet in height in the industrial neighborhood. Boasting nearly 3,000 square feet of divisible retail and a small entry plaza, the ground floor will welcome residents to a small lobby, 153-bicycle parking room, and a ramp up to the garage above. The floors above will hold an 89-vehicle parking garage and be topped by a large outdoor deck, over which the smaller portion of the structure above will hang over with a ceiling mural visible from street level.
The upper floor will hold 282 residential units made up of studios averaging around 550 square feet, convertibles averaging 630 square feet, one-bedrooms averaging 750 square feet, two-bedrooms averaging 1,150 square feet, and a handful of three-bedrooms as well. Of these 28 apartments will be considered affordable with Sterling Bay contributing $5.2 million to construct affordable units at the SL Solar Lofts in Douglas to make up for the rest. All on-site residents will have access to various amenity spaces including a fitness center, lounge, and rooftop pool.
Those who chose to not own a car will have direct access to the CTA Green and Pink Lines at the Morgan station just a few steps away along with multiple Divvy stations and bus service for CTA Routes 8 and 20 within a short walk as well. After securing funding with the Chicago-based CIBC Bank USA earlier this year, the $82 million tower broke ground this fall with a joint venture between Walsh Group and BOWA Construction executing the work, with an expected completion date of late 2023.
Countdown Comparison Corner (Spot #8)
The next building in the countdown comparison is the planned supertall at 262 Fifth Avenue in NoMad, Manhattan. Developed by Five Points Development, the 1,000-foot tall edifice has been designed by Meganom and SLCE Architects and will include 41 condominium units atop 11,000 square feet of retail.
With core work now rising above grade and M & Associates Construction Management serving as the general contractor, a completion is expected for the latter half of 2024.
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The new York comparison is depressing. Chicago has fallen far.
Amen to that. I feel like we settle for shorter, less inspired designs here.
I’m also curious: how does Chicago compare to other peer cities? Are we shortsighted or is America as a whole shortsighted?
We’ve also fallen behind Miami and I wouldn’t be shocked if Austin’s current boom produces taller and more ambitious buildings than anything currently going up here.
I put the blame on the pro-NIMBY alderman currently overseeing much of the Loop, Streeterville and River North. Our next supertall will probably be in the West Loop if Tribune East doesn’t happen.
You guys are missing the obvious. Nyc is building tall because none of it is real housing. Its all foreign money looking for a tax shelter! If you look at the developers building these things you’ll see names like the national korean pension fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia, a Saudi oil fund etc etc. That’s why they keep building but the city just gets more and more monstrous and “cold”. It’s all just foreign investment money! Chicago is not a hot investment market so we don’t have that. But nyc is not adding new parks and subway stations and modern urban malls alongside this stuff like Shanghai and Singapore do. They’re not adding art plazas and cool “mews” through the buildings like west loop is. You get an “amenities floor” nobody can access without living there, and a 4 floor Nordstrom that nyc already has 300 of. It looks cool from far away in the skyline but the pedestrian experience is actually AWFUL compared to what nyc is building. So:
1. People need to stop being size queens, it’s the quality of the built environment that matters not just the skyline trophy
2. Chicago has never been, and never will be, a 21st century midwestern foreign real estate investment market on par with Manhattan. The closest we got is Toronto but we’re number 5 in line catching drips and drabs of the foreign money. It has nothing to do with a lack of vision.
Typo: “but the pedestrian experience is actually AWFUL compared to what nyc is building.”
“Compared to what other cities are building”
Again, many of the tallest skyscrapers recently built in NYC are commerical. In fact 6 of the supertalls completed in the last decade are commercial and according to this list, a few more commercial supertalls are just now begining to rise. This is 100% counter to your original claim. So you’re assumption false, just admit it.
As for the residential, two of the most recent record purchases were by American business mogels, Griffin and Dell. That’s not to say savy foreigners aren’t also making invesetments. Anyone with money and brains would do the same, NYC is always a safe bet. In fact, many of the apartments purchased right before the pandemic are now selling for more than their original purchase price.
Uh, no! The most expensive apartment sold in NYC was to a Chicagoan, not a foreigner. Ken Griffin, owner of Citadel Group. Citadel Group’s new skyscraper along Park Ave also opened earlier this year at 860′ tall, designed by Fosters + Partners.
If you’ve been reading YIMBY, you’d know that many of the tallest skyscrapers going up in NYC are office buildings and in most cases these buildings are pre-leased to major corporations like IBM, Blackrock, Citadel Group, Facebook, Google, JP Morgan, TD Ameritrade and many more.
Are some of the apartments going to foreign investors, sure, but that’s not the cause of NYC’s building boom. NYC is the capital of the world, and Chicago is just the capital of the US Midwest. Sorry, but true.
And just for the record, I’m a Midwesterner who loves Chicago and visits regularly. You don’t need to tear down NYC to build up Chicago. I think what’s happen in the West Loop and South Loop is impressive and exciting to see. Vista Tower, Salesforce Tower and One Chicago are all amazing.
Shout out to Jake for these models. I’d love to see the same for Miami!
Sorry, meant to say, Shout out to Jack Crawford!
That’s ONE apartment and he doesn’t even live there, he lives in Miami. He’ just one domestic version of the thousands of foreigners buying it out. It’s not like Ken Griffins are going all over Manhattan buying up real estate. For every Griffin there is a Wanda, a Saudi Prince, and 3 Russian Oligarchs.
My friends in Miami and Austin would laugh at your comment. They would never put their city buildings next to Chicago’s.
Thank you again for the photos really helps put it in contacts
In regard the other comments:
1. Chicago has 1/3 the population of NYC, so it is understandable in that context that Chicago’s 8th tallest building is 1/3 the height of NYC’s 8th tallest.
2. Tall buildings weren’t even allowed west of Halsted Street in the West Loop just a few years ago. Now it dominates the list. Essentially, an entire skyline has sprouted in just a couple years. (As an aside, whether the West Loop has the infrastructure to accommodate thousands of new residents in a relatively small area is never even questioned)
3. The building in Chicago will contain SEVEN times as many units. If you once again adjust for population, Chicago’s 8th tallest building will offer 21 times the number of housing units as NYC’s.
4. Even if Chicago has another 1000 foot tall building, why does it really matter? Paris and London have a fraction of the skyscrapers of Chicago. Does anyone think Chicago is a more vibrant city then those cities in spite is of it having more skyscrapers?
I never understood this counter-argument about NYC being larger than Chicago. If this was 15 years ago, an article about the 10 tallest buildings under construction in both cities would’ve been far more comparable.
Chicago’s current lack of ambitious and constant buckling to NIMBY’s really has nothing to do with its size. Miami, which is more than 5 times smaller than Chicago is approving a new supertall every other month.
Yeah but Miami is a hotbed for corrupt foreign investment. Have you SEEN those parking podiums they’re putting up? Its cuz they’re building a real city with infrastructure and transit, just trophies for foreign oligarchs. All vanity. No substance. Barcelona has few high rises but it was more gorgeous than Miami.
Cuz they’re NOT building a real city. Sorry for the typo!
Who cares? We already have far more of an interesting city than Miami. We need to make it even more interesting by worrying about the public right of way more than how tall of buildings get built. That’s what makes a city an interesting place to live in, height is a byproduct of an incredibly vibrant place.
We need to be cheering on and advocating for huge expansions in transit and protected bike infrastructure. That way developers can build more densely as they forget about making making space for cars.
I love the comparison to NYC. It gives the losers who define themselves by their city’s skyline such fits.
Facts! As if they’re the architects or construction companies themselves. Haha
The fact that we’re growing should be enough. It’ll never be enough for some people who look at others’ bowls just to complain. Love the content. Thank you Jack and Ian! Happy holiday to yous two! Much love and appreciation for all of your hard work and dedication.
West Loop has siphoned off a lot of development from areas we’d see taller projects proposed/built (Streeterville, South Loop, LP lakeshore), and the lack of existing towers + large floorplates means these units can be supplied in shorter, cheaper towers. The neighborhood would look very odd if they started popping up 600’+ buildings before building many in the 200-500′ range.
I’d rather have higher quality architecture than taller buildings, but aside from OCS, we’ve been getting neither lately. This building follows the recent trend of smashing two facades together (plus the base) to “break up the massing.” Undoubtedly these mish-mashed facades will be viewed almost like cringeworthy Po-Mo buildings from the 90s/early 2000s. At least they seem easy to fix via metal panel replacement vs. total reskin.