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Massive Wacker Dr. Tower With Riverwalk Takes Key Step Forward

By Stephen Gossett in News on Mar 16, 2017 9:02PM

One of the most high-profile—and high-rising—skyscraper proposals in the city received a key green light from the Chicago Plan Commission. The 51-story office tower was approved by the agency at a very busy Thursday meeting.

The plan, which was brought to light in January, would see mean the demolition of the old "modernist throwback" General Growth Properties building, at 110 N. Wacker Dr., between Randolph and Washington, along the eastern bank of the Chicago River. In its place would rise a massive, glass-and-steel structure, much more in keeping with the aesthetic makeup of the present-day riverfront architecture: 800 feet tall, with 1,350,000 square feet of office space. A new public riverwalk and park space around the tower would also be included.

According to the Department of Planning and Development, the developer will pay nearly $20 million to the Neighborhood Opportunity Bonus, which is intended to spur commercial development in "investment zones" on the South and West Sides. That huge sum would be the largest ever paid to the fund, the Tribune notes.

Also according to the Trib, a representative of one of the tower's co-developers, the Chicago-based Riverside Investment and Development, said that the group is in talks with possible tenants to occupy some of all that gargantuan office space.

Assuming it gets through the City Council, the tower is expected to take three years to complete.