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56-Story Apartment Tower Across From Grant Park Takes Next Big Step

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jan 3, 2017 8:27PM

Rendering of Essex on the Park / Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture

One of the more skyline-altering real estate developments in the pipeline is getting rolling all of the sudden thanks to a just-announced infusion of funding. The development group behind the Essex Inn, which sits on Michigan Avenue just across from Grant Park, just received a $170 million construction loan to add a large-scale, 56-story apartment tower along the south side of the existing hotel.

The group behind the hotel and apartments-to-be apparently wasted little time after the loan was secured: crews were spotted erecting scaffolding and construction barriers on Tuesday morning at the soon-to-be building site, Chicago Architecture noted.

The project will also include renovations to the Essex Inn, which sits along the Historic Michigan Boulevard District. The hotel will be expanded to 271 luxury rooms, beginning in late 2018, with the new luxe edition slated to open in 2019.

The apartment tower, dubbed Essex on the Park, will include 470 luxury residential units and will reside at 808 S. Michigan Ave. According to a press release, they’ll have nine-to-ten-foot ceilings and quartz countertops plus access to a “winter garden” with hot tubs and pools. Given the amenities and location, prospective residents are advised to begin shekel-saving.

As Chicago Architecture points out, there are a few other planned major skyscrapers near the Essex site that will reshape the skyline: the 76-story, supertall skyscraper set for 113 E. Roosevelt Rd. (which had permits approved last October) and the Helmut Jahn-designed tower at 1000 S. Michigan Ave (if it ever breaks out of limbo).