Initial Financing Hearing Held For 400 N Lake Shore Drive In Streeterville

400 N Lake Shore Drive. Rendering by SOM400 N Lake Shore Drive with DuSable Park in the front Rendering by SOM

An initial public hearing was held for the potential financing of the first phase of the residential development at 400 N Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville. Held by the Illinois Housing Development Authority for the project under its formal address of 462 E North Water Street, the proposal looks to redevelop the long vacant site originally meant for the canceled Chicago Spire. Now developer Related Midwest appears to be resuming its work for their multi-phase plan designed by SOM.

Existing Site Conditions at 400 N Lake Shore Drive. Image by Jack Crawford

Existing Site Conditions at 400 N Lake Shore Drive. Photo by Jack Crawford

Sitting on perhaps one of the most notorious sites in the city with its large hole originally meant for the supertall skyscraper, current concepts call for a two-tower project sitting on landscaped ground with a path to the upcoming DuSable Park. Plans for these two were originally revealed multiple years ago with a central podium, hotel component, and taller heights, all of which were scrapped or revised due to local resident feedback.

400 N Lake Shore Drive (lower center) via YIMBY+

400 N Lake Shore Drive (lower center) via YIMBY+

400 N Lake Shore Drive (center) via YIMBY+

400 N Lake Shore Drive (center) via YIMBY+

Although updated drawings and plans have not been revealed, original plans call for two diamond-shaped structures facing away from each other with a cascading form thinning out as it rises. Phase one would be the taller north tower capping out around 840-feet according to the SOM website, with the shorter southern tower in phase two originally set to rise around 765-feet in height. Both will be connected by a green park and shared central vehicle loop, leading to a 300-vehicle underground parking garage.

Phase 2 Site Plan for 400 N Lake Shore Drive. Drawing by SOM

Phase 2 Site Plan for 400 N Lake Shore Drive. Drawing by SOM

The structure will be made up of columns of bay windows with a champagne-colored panel system, a departure from the original terracotta exterior. Phase one’s 73-story north tower will contain a small cafe on the ground floor, a dog spa, large lobby, parking garage ramps, and other back of house spaces. This will be capped by 635-residential units which will be for-lease apartments, of which 20-percent or around 127-units will be considered affordable for those making 60-percent AMI.

400 N Lake Shore Drive via YIMBY+

400 N Lake Shore Drive via YIMBY+

View of Landscape Along Riverwalk at 400 N Lake Shore Drive Site. Rendering by SOM

View of Landscape Along Riverwalk at 400 N Lake Shore Drive Site. Rendering by SOM

The hearing held July 20th was just part of a nearly 30-week process needed to fully approve the issuance of bonds for the project. These bonds will add up to $510 million in total and be split between $300 million in tax-exempt bonds and $210 in taxable bonds. While unclear for this case, IHDA itself can also act as a lender for projects via this program. IDHA will now proceed with the rest of its process which will include a hearing for the tax-exempt bonds as part of the Tax-Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA).

View of Lake Shore Drive Underpass at 400 N Lake Shore Drive. Rendering by SOM

View of Lake Shore Drive Underpass at 400 N Lake Shore Drive. Rendering by SOM

400 N Lake Shore Drive (center) via YIMBY+

400 N Lake Shore Drive (center) via YIMBY+

400 N Lake Shore Drive (right) via YIMBY+

400 N Lake Shore Drive (right) via YIMBY+

Meanwhile Related applied for caisson permits last year which have not been issued yet, these include three-stories for the aforementioned underground parking garage. Currently no groundbreaking date is known, but the process from IDHA shows a new sign of life for the overall proposal. A potential height increase is still a possibility for the second phase tower expected to be made up of for-sale condos instead.

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31 Comments on "Initial Financing Hearing Held For 400 N Lake Shore Drive In Streeterville"

  1. Please don’t make it shorter… For the love of god, don’t make it shorter.

    • This is a time when I fully agree with this…to go shorter would put the height coming into the river out of balance. And they’re not blocking anyone’s existing views by going taller vs shorter. And if it’s a density pushback, why on earth would anyone live in Streeterville if they’re worried about density.

      • Steve River North | July 26, 2023 at 3:14 pm | Reply

        I do not think it is “density in Streeterville” that is the cause, but that much building on one small road. The thing has water on two sides, plus LSD on a third. All traffic has to go in and out on one road. This is worse than the casino being at Chicago and Halsted.

        And we all know that LSD is not a way to get around the neighborhood or city. It is a way in/out of the city.

        • The traffic situation here is not worse than the casino development. The volume of vehicle movements and duration is not comparable. This is a residential development where everyone is not leaving/arriving at the same time. This is another ‘straw man’ argument, similar to what derailed the original taller scheme and delayed the project moving forward by many years.

  2. Build the Spire!

    • The switch from terra cotta to “champagne colored panels” is somewhat alarming. Is this thing going to be value-engineered into banality? The latest renders were really great – not sure what this next, probably cheapified version will look like? Hoping for the best.

  3. The top rendering really made my morning; it looks bold, like double chef’s knives rising out of the water. Let’s fill up this pitiful hole on our lakefront and get this project growing!

  4. Rusty Wallace | July 25, 2023 at 8:51 am | Reply

    Right there with you E.E. First time in awhile I opened YIMBY and had some excitement!

  5. I truly wish this would get a height bump. That location is too prominent to settle for subpar.

  6. Jim I completely agree. Streeterville is dense for the NIMBY’s there, it’s just time to move out to the burbs.

  7. Entire project looks like an under achievement to what was originally a bold NOTICEABLE statement for the entire region. Too bad.
    r.i.p. #Spire

  8. In one paragraph Ian calls Phase 1 840 feet , in the next paragraph he calls Phaze 1 735 feet .

    • Hey George, we only mention the heights of each tower once in the same paragraph, the first tower is 840-feet and second tower is 765-feet tall.

  9. What about the large hole?
    Will it be filled up? Used as an underground parking?

  10. Casual Observer | July 25, 2023 at 12:13 pm | Reply

    Between the uncertainty with the Tribune East Tower and the disappointing updates on this project, I must admit I’m getting antsy as to when we’ll see the next supertall in Chicago. A litany of proposals continuously unfulfilled seems to be the theme these past few years.

  11. Chicago lover | July 25, 2023 at 3:31 pm | Reply

    It’s the economy, stupid! Just be patient while waiting for the next upcycle. Good things are worth waiting for.

    • I cannot agree more to this here.

      I moved to Chicago in Feb of 2020, and since then, kinda missed out on a TON of development we’d all drool over today. It’s really just been the economy for this slow down. So much is either Prosposed, Approved, or Pending Funding and it all falls down to the state of the economy. Once we’re through this cycle and it’s booming again, I think Chicago will be in for a hell of a ride with everything in the Pipeline and more.

      Can’t wait for this project to kick off.

  12. from the spire to the toenail clippers

    do better for this prominent site!

  13. Christian Salvador | July 26, 2023 at 8:52 am | Reply

    Folks. I have a secret. Chicago is going to explode. When folks on the east and west coasts get tired of climate changes, heat and the cost of living, in addition to red tides, earthquakes, drought, fires, etc. People are going to realize Chicago is sitting on a goldmine…. Lake Michigan. Buckle up folks. The next 10 to 30 years are going to be life changing. You’ll see. I moved here from Denver and realized this 3 years ago. Everyone complaining about Chicago hasn’t been anywhere else or looked to the future.

    • I couldn’t agree more, there’s a strong possibility of exactly this scenario happening. And in many ways that’d be a travesty because it’ll price so many people out of this city. Even Chicago can’t build fast enough these days for coastal city levels of demand, although we’d probably fair better.

    • @Christian—I totally agree. Having moved here 12 years ago from the New York area, I find that many Chicagoans who’ve not lived elsewhere truly do not understand nor appreciate how incredible this city is.

    • Timothy Espinoza | July 26, 2023 at 11:44 am | Reply

      Great things are to come for sure. Dont forget about the new Global terminal to be completed in the next 5 years or so at O’hare. Also, The loop is being redefined with office to residential conversion. Chicago has a lot going for it. I expect some explosive growth in the next decade. Definitely need to focus on safety and infrastructure, but I have faith in our great city. It’s world class.

    • Steve River North | July 26, 2023 at 3:08 pm | Reply

      I knew this 20 years ago when contemplated going to the South West. But easy access to fresh water was always there in back of my mind. Now it is proving to be “prophetic”. Just need some big fans to blow the Canadian smoke away.

    • Bobby Siemiaszko | July 26, 2023 at 4:58 pm | Reply

      I agree Christian, but I keep wondering when? They just released an article today that said Chicago is not going to get back the population it lost by 2027, whereas almost all the big cities will or have already surpassed that.

      I have a feeling when people do realize what a gem it is, it will grow fast again, but I see no signs of that happening any time soon.

      • What are “all the other big cities?” I only know of LA and NYC. I think LA has shrunk 1% since 2020.

        • Bobby Siemiaszko | July 26, 2023 at 11:11 pm | Reply

          It is NYC, LA, Houston, Boston, DC, Dallas, SF, Miami, Seattle, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Jose, Atlanta, Detroit, San Diego, Phoenix, Tampa, Minneapolis & Baltimore. The Metro of those cities…so maybe it’s not the city proper but all of Chicagoland. This was an Oxford study just released today and #1 article on Chicago Crain’s Business too.

          • Chicago is 234 sq miles. Dallas is 385, Phoenix is 519, and Houston is 671. More cheap land allows for more cheap housing.

    • As a person who lives in NYC and visits Chicago regularly, I’m sorry but I have to burst your bubble. In fact, I just had a friend from Chicago visit me last week and his jaw dropped as we took a ferry from NYC’s Hudson Yards to South Seaport. He was stunned at all the recent development and all the development still in full swing.

      But that wasn’t the most shocking thing to him… It was the hussle and bussle on a Monday night. He was shocked at all the people out at eating dinner… on a Monday. We walked from South Seaport back to westside and he couldn’t believe how safe he felt and that not a single person came up to pan handle. This was a late night walk.

      I spent an entire month in Chicago’s loop last year and I must admit… I was terrified. Flash mobs of cars blocked Michigan on several nights to the point that Ubers refused to drive me back to my hotel (The Palmer). And from what I see, it’s not getting any better in the Windy City.

      So no, NYC has way too much momentum for Chicago to allure East Coast people to move to the midwest. If anything, it’s Miami that will pull them away.

  14. This location deserve the spire or equally architecturally unique structure!

  15. This is highly deceptive of the developer. Over the past years Related has been very open about plans. The plan for affordable housing has never been shared and was never in previous proposals to neighbors. In fact, the Crain’s article is the first time I and neighbors have been made aware of this. Government subsidized housing is a serious mistake probably a result of their desperate need to appease political pressures and rate hikes versus a sensible approach to the neighborhood. Ward 42 accounts for 40% of all tax dollars. We should have a stronger say than a developer who does not live here and will permanently change the quality of our lives and value of our properties.

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