Construction Logistics Meeting Announced 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

A community meeting has been announced to discuss the start of construction for 400 N Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville. Sitting atop of the former Spire site, the two-tower development has been in the works for many years. Most recently a financing meeting was held and now Alderman Reily is running the logistics meeting. The project is being led by Related Midwest who tapped architecture firm SOM for its design.

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

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

Originally proposed with a much taller height and terracotta clad bay windows, the multi-phased development received an overall haircut and simplification of the facade. This came after a lengthy community review process which also led to the removal of its parking podium and hotel component. Once completed it will also connect under the highway to the future DuSable Park which is currently in the design phase.

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

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

Construction will commence with the previously announced first phase, rising 73 stories tall, its final height is unknown as the SOM website shows 840 feet however the alderman’s site displays 875 feet. Inside will be 635 apartments of which 20 percent or around 127 units will be considered affordable for those making 60 percent AMI. On the ground floor will be a small cafe, dog spa, lobby, and a ramp to the underground parking garage.

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 300-vehicle garage will be shared with the second phase as well. This second tower is set to rise 765 feet in height and contain 465 residential units which will most likely be for condos. At the base of the two will be a large green landscaped space and central parking garage ramp, this will also include an extension of the riverwalk leading to DuSable Park.

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

The financing meeting held recently was to review the issuance of bonds for the project, with nearly $510 million being requested and reviewed by IDHA. The alderman’s coordination meeting will occur on the 17th and was published in a recent newsletter found herec. While foundation permits were applied for last year, a formal commencement date has yet to be announced.

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33 Comments on "Construction Logistics Meeting Announced For 400 N Lake Shore Drive In Streeterville"

  1. I like this. Tell me if I should feel differently.

  2. Any chance for a height increase? Would really like this city to build another supertall this decade.

  3. Finally, some big news in this rough economy for Chicago Dev.

  4. It’s not bad, but it pains me knowing what it could’ve been. I’m happy something big is actually moving forward, though.

  5. Steve River North | October 14, 2023 at 9:51 am | Reply

    1100 units, 400 parking spots at the end of a tiny little road. The Ubers will be lined up all the way down N Water St.

    • I’m pretty sure that was a main concern the alderman had was traffic congestion due to the limited roadways in and out of the dev

    • I’m assuming you’re implying that an increase in the total number of parking spaces would somehow alleviate traffic congestion on N Water St? It certainly won’t; the only way to successfully alleviate car traffic congestion is for our city (and state / federal government) to incentivize and provide serious investments in far more compelling and reliable alternatives to getting around by car. Imagine if we took all of the money going into building most of the car parking spaces and put it into developing high speed train infrastructure like what a city like Tokyo or Taipei have. We’d be able to build more densely and add a lot more height too. Our retail storefronts would more consistently be occupied. There’s a high, high costs and tangible tradeoffs to accommodating cars in a dense, walkable city like Chicago.

      The one big benefit of Ubers lining up vs providing more parking spaces (and encouraging more car ownership) is that this makes the cost of building and maintaining these buildings paid, for by rent or HOA fees, much more affordable. According to UCLA professor Donald Shoup, each underground 300 sq ft parking spot in Chicago costs around $45,000 each to build.

  6. Still time to make the north tower a supertall . Just do it .

  7. Chicago development has been painfully boring lately…looking at this site and urbanize, its mostly just infill housing and little 4/5 over 1s getting built. Boring stuff. We’re losing speed to our peers. This would be a welcome addidtion

    • You can’t have a great city with a bunch of vacant lots; so while I look forward to big developments like you, I also appreciate and understand the importance of infill projects.

      • I think these towers are spectacular and don’t understand the hate. Seriously don’t get people. Why can’t we build more Tribune Towers…? Ummmm, do you know how to finance construction?! Gosh, people are insufferable.

        The whole “losing to peers never gets less annoying, too. If you think what Austin has is cool, 1/3 of their garbage is a box parking podium. Stuff in China is funded by slavery. The Middle East’s architectural wonders are made by slave labor and funded by human suffering.

        I will admit Syndey, Paris, London, Frankfurt, and other Scandinavian cities have some cool stuff in the works. Singapore, too, but you must accept some less freedom for those kinds of returns.

        • “I will admit Syndey, Paris, London, Frankfurt, and other Scandinavian cities have some cool stuff in the works. Singapore, too, but you must accept some less freedom for those kinds of returns.”

          This is the key part of your sentence. Chicago does not, and should not, look to Denver and Austin for competition. We look to global juggernauts like NYC, Stockholm, London, Shanghai, and Singapore. So, while the infill is definitely welcome, what’s going up is still boring and the lack of grand vision is understandably anxiety-inducing.

      • Agreed Greg! I think infill of long empty lots are far more important than continuing to build visually impressive sky scrapers. Thankfully both are happening.

        • In terms of peers/counterparts, not to disparage anyone here but many comments on this site are from skyscraper aficionados who just like to be awed by cool things, and enjoy the prestige of living near interesting architecture (I also enjoy those things). Other comments speak to the impact of a development based on nuanced design choices how a building will work contextually within the urban fabric of its neighborhood.
          Regarding the first category above, I have a strong distaste for the “why can’t our buildings compete with XYZ city?” types of comments, as if Chicago is playing some game against other cities and all the underlying fundamentals are on a level playing field. It’s like measuring a city by its hometown celebrities…”We got Bill Murray and John Cusack and Eddie Vedder wearing Cubs hats — take that, Milwaukee!” A meaningless exercise where you’ll always find someone to feel inferior to.

          • but we ARE playing a game with other cities. Grand architecture attracts tourism and headlines that bring in revenue to the city. It’s a proven formula and one Chicago ha built the backbone of its reputation on. We have been resting on our laurels since Sears Tower and Trump Tower.. We cannot keep doing that, we need a shot in the arm that takes us from Y2K era into modern times. When you see other cities outpacing us not by a little, but leaps and bounds, it raises legitimate questions of “why not us, too?”

          • huge johnson | October 17, 2023 at 9:54 am |

            zaptron is correct

            chicago markets itself as an architecture city. it is the global capital of modern architecture. and yet if you look around there is nothing of consequence that has gone up in the city in over a decade.

            when will the third chicago school arrive?

    • What “counterparts” are we losing out to?

      This is a new for me.

  8. Richard M.Daley | October 14, 2023 at 5:43 pm | Reply

    We need cars from back to the future 2 where we’re going we don’t need roads, anyways chicago needs more supertall towers and police officers btw what ever happened to Lakeshore East Parcel I Tower chicago is falling way behind its not the 1970s nomore

  9. It’s very disappointing that the height was reduced. Im also not a fan of twin type towers. I just cant warm to this design. loved the older one.

  10. A boring watered down replica of 111 w 57th in NYC. I hope it’s scraped for this cycle and something ambitious can be built. Chicago has fallen far an hard. Forget about NYC, at this point, Toronto and the boro of Brooklyn are more impressive.

    • 111 w 57th has a more expensive facade, but, it’s a lanky eyesore in the NYC skyline. These two are way more impactful and well-positioned. They look like gateways cascading into the lake. 111 west looks like a terra cotta weed whose details cannot be made out but he naked eye.

  11. What’s the timeline for the DuSable Park? Curious, when will we see construction there? Phase One or Two?

  12. Related Midwest holds onto their properties as owners. This is great because they keep their properties very safe and well maintained making a great neighbor. Oh and they always seem to give back to the communities they call home with Parks, Libraries, Museums always incorporated into their developments at no cost to the Tax payer. The icing on the cake is the commitment Related Midwest has to City Residents and companies, I have noticed their projects in Chicago tend to utilize a very high percentage Chicagoans and Chicago companies.
    The commitment Related Midwest has to Diversity and Inclusion, is the highest in the industry, this comes directly from the companies leadership and is part of their culture. They use every project to grow and cultivate many Diverse companies, they achieve industry leading MBE/WBE Participation with their commitment. This commitment goes to to workforce also. I hope one day all Developers that want to do business in Chicago have the same commitment.

  13. Finally something is being done. I worked for a development group that worked alternative proposal out of bankruptcy. We did a full feasibility study. This was in 2010 and 2011. We concluded that project / property would have to be held 10 years before you could even consider it. I am so happy for Related Properties there patients and investor team to make it happen.

  14. I’m glad we’re having a nuanced conversation about this project over the typical talking points over whether something should be taller or the competitive arguments with other cities. I agree with others who have mentioned alternative forms of transportation over the car. Streets in this city that are the most active and pleasant also have slower car traffic. Think of Milwaukee and Lincoln Avenues as opposed to Ashland or North. We could build denser without more parking if we had more transit alternatives. And having more skyscrapers is fine, but taller isn’t always better. I’d rather have quality shorter buildings and a great active streetscape than a skyline filled with landmark skyscrapers but bereft streets and neighborhoods for people. We can go to Dubai for that.

  15. Uh . . . they’re issuing government bonds to finance a tall, luxurious privately owned tower?

    It doesn’t look like the city’s goal is to build as many units of affordable housing given the resources available. Otherwise they’d be supporting new buildings with modest amenities and finishes instead of these fancy buildings.

    City leaders need to be called to account for this. Someone needs to get an answer from the Dept. of Housing to the question: “why are you prioritizing public financing for fancy buildings instead of building as much affordable housing as your resources allow?”

  16. What a missed chance to build 1 super tall at such a commanding site. Is it too late to make it a little taller? The voters should not reelect Alderman O’Reilly. He has put a wet blanket on some key downtown developments. This probably makes developers hesitant to build. Chicago has fallen considerably behind New York City in building supertalls. O’Reilly must go in order for downtown development to succeed. This is a very critical situation for downtown.

  17. build one 1500 foot structure instead

  18. Agree with majority. Need to build one 1500 foot structure instead. There twin towers are ugly

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